Since being established in 2010, I-SPHERE has delivered a number of critically-acclaimed, longitudinal research projects that have been influential in public policy debate. These include:
- Homelessness Monitor series
- Destitution in the UK series
- the major ESRC Welfare Conditionality study
- and a cluster of ‘Hard Edges’ studies
We have contributed significantly to the evidence base for ‘what works’ and supported organisations to increase their understanding and maximise their impact. Our team have been involved in a range of national and international conferences and working groups. Here are just a few examples of our impacts.
I-SPHERE’s Director Prof Suzanne Fitzpatrick and Prof Glen Bramley were appointed to the Scottish Government’s steering group on Fuel Poverty. They contributed to an evidence review on Fuel poverty and adverse outcomes, which informed a national consultation on a Fuel Poverty Strategy for Scotland.
I-SPHERE research on Destitution in the UK for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation defined destitution, identify how many people are affected, who they are, and the main pathways in and out of destitution. It looks at the impact and experience of those people directly affected. The research has received significant media publicity and is informing evidence based policy and practice across the UK.
I-SPHERE’s Mandy Littlewood, Prof Glen Bramley, Prof Suzanne Fitzpatrick, and Dr Jenny Wood produced a report entitled ‘Eradicating ‘Core Homelessness’ in Scotland’s Four Largest Cities: Providing an Evidence Base and Guiding a Funding Framework‘ for social enterprise Social Bite. This was to establish how to funnel money raised by a mass Sleepout entitled ‘Sleep in the Park’ in Princes St Gardens, Edinburgh that took place 9th December. The report and Sleepout were covered in a range of news outlets and will now contribute to action by the Scottish Government, working with various partners including Social Bite. Mandy Littlewood blogs about the report at Eradicating Core Homelessness in Scotland For Main Cities: Asking the impossible?
Research conducted by I-SPHERE’s Dr Beth Watts and Adam Stephenson highlighted the difficulty for many households receiving housing benefit to rent in the private rental sector. The Shelter Scotland blog at ‘No DSS’ – you talked, we listen. What next? reflects on the findings.
Dr Beth Watts also reflects on how to tackle homelessness in Scotland our blog at Three priorities for tackling homelessness in Scotland
Homelessness legislation in England and Wales
Legislation on homelessness in England was passed into law into April 2017. The Homelessness Reduction Act was influenced by I-SPHERE’s director Prof Suzanne Fitzpatrick, and you can read more about it at The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017: An Historic Step Forward for Single Homeless People
I-SPHERE’s Homelessness Monitor Series, funded by the charity Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, was nominated for the Times Higher Education Awards in the category Research Project of the Year. At the award ceremony held 30th of November 2017, the project came ‘highly commended’.