Preventing homelessness: It's everybody's business (2018)

In this report, we focus specifically on five government departments that could play a central role in preventing homelessness for a significant proportion of people. These are the Department for Work and Pensions, the Ministry of Justice, the Department of Health and Social Care, the Home Office and the Department for Education. We have chosen to focus on these departments as they all work with groups of people who are at a greater risk of homelessness. We set out key changes to both policy and practice in each department that will help to prevent homelessness further upstream for a larger proportion of people. These changes should be underpinned by legal duties to ensure that effective, evidence-based measures to prevent homelessness are implemented consistently across the country.

(The report builds on the prevention agenda established through the Homelessness Reduction Act (2017) and calls on every government department to play their part to prevent and end homelessness.)

 Key recommendations

  • The Department for Work and Pensions should establish a network of housing and homelessness specialists in Jobcentres to ensure that once people are rehoused they are also supported to move into employment.
  • The Ministry of Justice should include successfully meeting the long-term accommodation needs of people leaving prison as a measure of success in the new probation contracts. They should also ensure that evidence-based housing-led solutions that have proved effective at preventing homelessness for prison leavers, such as Critical Time Interventions, are implemented consistently across the country.
  • The Department of Health and Social Care should require every hospital that sees more than 200 homeless patients each year to have a full Pathway team, including a GP, nursing staff, care navigators and a dedicated housing worker.
  • The Home Office should extend the 28 day move on period for newly recognised refugees to at least 56 days to ensure that local authorities have sufficient time to work with a household to prevent them from becoming homeless.
  • The Home Office should require the police to ask every victim of domestic abuse whether they need help and support with housing. If the person consents, then the police should make a referral to the local housing authority.
  • The Department for Education should ensure that evidence-based housing-led solutions, such as Critical Time Interventions, are part of the housing and support options available for young people leaving care.


Jacob, R. (2018) Preventing homelessness: It's everbody's business. London: Crisis.