The Role of Housing and Housing Providers in Tackling Poverty Experienced by Young People

The Role of Housing and Housing Providers in Tackling Poverty Experienced by Young People

Principal Investigator:Professor Michael Oxley, University of Cambridge

This research looks at what works in tackling poverty amongst young people (aged 16 to 25) who do not live in the parental home, with a focus on the role that housing providers can play. Measures to address poverty in this age group are delivered by a range of landlords and agencies that provide accommodation and housing related services. They include the provision of accommodation ranging from temporary supported housing to permanent long term housing, advice, assistance with training and education, and schemes to facilitate access to the private rented sector. The research will investigate the feasibility of implementing successful measures across the UK.

  • A desk based literature review will examine evidence of the impact of selected housing interventions for young people in the UK and in other countries.
  • An online survey of housing providers in Europe will extend the knowledge of actions that work throughout Europe.
  • Quantitative analysis of housing and youth poverty in the UK, using secondary data, will examine current practice in rent settings for properties occupied by young single people and will use census data from 1971 to 2011 to assess the impact of housing policy measures on young people’s well-being. The impact on increased employability and income will be evaluated using novel econometric techniques and the consequences of housing for fuel costs and disposable income will be assessed.
  • Case studies of selected organisations will show what housing providers can do to tackle poverty and what the consequences are for young people.

The research will focus on schemes that have the potential to alleviate poverty by reducing housing and living costs including fuel bills, increasing incomes by improving employability, locating housing near to jobs, increasing the capacity for unsupported and supported independent living and tackling the wider factors that are both cause and consequences of poverty.

The research aims to increase good practice that improves the quality, scale and effectiveness of the housing and related services provided to young people in poverty.  It will benefit housing providers and policymakers wishing to implement measures to address poverty among young people.  The research team will be working with four partners who have helped to develop the proposal and will be directly involved in the research and its dissemination: Centrepoint (the UK’s leading charity for homeless young people), the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, Community Housing Cymru, and the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing organisations (a network of 41 national and regional federations with about 41,400 providers in 19 countries).

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