We are working to make sure that the benefit system provides a safety net to prevent people becoming homeless. This includes making sure it covers the cost of housing in all parts of the UK. The benefit system has a really important role to play in helping homeless people find and hold onto jobs. To do this it must help people overcome problems related to their housing situation.
Read how benefit and employment issues have an impact on people's lives.
'I’m trying to be self-sufficient, and I’m hoping to get a place for me and the kids soon, but I had to wait six weeks for universal credit after I was evicted. If I had been able to get help sooner, maybe none of this would have happened. All my stuff is stored outside my friend’s house at the moment but I have to chuck most of it out because I can’t store it there anymore. I’ve even had to chuck lots of the kids stuff out too which is really painful. When all this is over I’m hoping to train as fitness instructor, so I’ll be able to pick myself up anytime without relying on anyone else. I feel positive about that at least. Helping other people. Building up their confidence. They can’t take that away from me'
'We stayed in a couple of B&B’s when we first got here while we tried to register for housing benefit, but that was two months ago now, and we’ve just been bounced us from one place to another ever since. Basically, because we’ve got no local connection we were told we weren’t eligible for any help at all, and because we’ve got no substance abuse or serious mental health problems we’re not entitled to emergency accommodation either. We gave them all the details from the police, but it took them six weeks for them to follow it up properly, and by that time we’d been forced to move into a tent in the park, just to try and preserve the little money we had. It’s good that we’ve got each other. I think if one of us had been on our own we would have given up by now.'
'While I was working for agencies, I managed to get into a backpacker’s hostel, but after the summer the prices went up and made it too expensive which put me back on the streets. I found work again but it was another low wage and zero-hour contract. This time in a fancy hotel. I slept in a park in Mayfair because it was close to my work. That job ended in November 2018 and I’ve been homeless since then. I think I wouldn’t be in this situation if I’d had stable work. Companies lie to you. It’s not always the hours and salary they promise. You can’t plan anything these days.'
Our research looks into how the welfare system impacts on homelessness.
of homeless people have experienced being sanctioned
of homeless people have previously had a job.
An important part of making Universal Credit work to prevent homelessness is getting the support in Jobcentres right. Historically, Jobcentres have focused on how to help someone into work. But how can anyone reasonably focus on work when they’re worried about whether they can keep a roof over their head?