The impact of working and experiencing homelessness
It makes for sobering reading. For many people, the combined pressures of low pay and high living and housing costs have increased the risk of homelessness. We found that almost a quarter of those facing homelessness in England are in work. We also identified that four out of ten employers would look to end an employee's contract if they discovered they were homeless, but on a more positive note, 99 per cent of employers would like more information to help them support employees facing homelessness.
In response, Crisis is developing a Best Practice Guide for Employers to provide guidance and tools to enable employers to support their staff experiencing homelessness, as well as enabling people experiencing homelessness to move into work.
We also want to bring together businesses and individuals who want to work together to raise awareness and develop practical solutions to tackle in-work homelessness for their staff and influence change the wider sector.
We are working to make sure that the benefits system provides a safety net to prevent people from becoming homeless.
The benefits system has a really important role to play in helping people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to find and hold onto jobs. We know that not having stable housing is a massive barrier to people being able to reach their potential. We have worked closely with the DWP to run pilots with our Skylights to test integrated models of housing and employment support.
Our key recommendations are:
1. Embedding effective partnership working throughout DWP
- Mechanisms for consistent rollout of effective partnerships
- Forming the right partnerships and making them effective
- Data sharing is key
2. Enabling staff to deliver meaningful support to people with acute housing need
- Professional skills
- Personalising support
3. Embedding a prevention approach
- Including housing circumstances and support needs as part of the work coach assessment and UC applications
- Monitoring the impact of welfare policies and DWP operations on homelessness and housing security