I-SPHERE hosts a series of online seminars throughout the year with guest speakers from across the UK and beyond.

We will announce more events soon so watch this space.

I-SPHERE Seminar – Jed Meers

Date: May 14, 2024
Time: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm
Location: Online

Finding a home online: Platform interfaces and discrimination in the private rented sector

Dr Jed Meers is a Senior Lecturer at York Law School, University of York  where is co-Director of the Administrative Fairness Lab.

This seminar explores discrimination on online rental platforms. Accessing the private rented sector is now an almost exclusively online activity. In the UK 96% of renters found their property from one of the four leading online rental platforms: Rightmove, SpareRoom, Zoopla or Gumtree. How the interfaces of these platforms are designed can impact on access to the private rented sector and facilitate (or minimise) discrimination against users. Using examples of platform design and an analysis of listings on a leading rental platform before-and-after changes to its interface, the paper reveals that even minor design alterations can significantly influence market accessibility for recipients of housing benefit. The seminar aims to offer insights into combating discrimination in the digital rental market and suggest directions for further research on online rental platforms.

I-SPHERE Seminar – Professor Sarah Johnsen

Date: March 19, 2024
Time: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

Hard Edges: The reality for women affected by severe and multiple disadvantage

Watch again as Professor Sarah Johnsen presents the hard hitting findings of our Hard Edges research for the Oak Foundation on The Reality for Women Affected by Severe and Multiple Disadvantage – I-SPHERE (hw.ac.uk)

I-SPHERE Seminar – Jacqueline Broadhead

Date: February 27, 2024
Time: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

Understanding Migrant Destitution in the UK: Emerging learning from a survey of local authorities

Jacqueline Broadhead from the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), Oxford University, presents initial findings from research on Understanding Migrant Destitution in the UK. No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) is an immigration condition prohibiting access to the welfare safety net. This project will provide an evidence base on support for precarious migrants – those living in and at risk of destitution. 


View the seminar again here

I-SPHERE Seminar – Findings from our Oak Foundation Research Interns Dr Ionut Cioarta and Christiana Ajai-Thomas on Roma Homelessness in the UK and Young Black Homelessness in London

Date: January 23, 2024
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
Location: Online

We are absolutely delighted to share the findings of research from our last two research interns, Christiana (Roni) and Ionut on issues of race and homelessness in the UK that you can watch again here.

Our interns are funded by the Oak Foundation as part of our Homelessness and Black and Minoritised Ethnic Communities in the UK – Knowledge and Capacity Building Programme – I-SPHERE (hw.ac.uk)

The seminar presents findings from two distinct research projects.

Firstly Christiana Ajai-Thomas sets out the findings of her recent study conducted with young black people in London with lived experience of homelessness. Christiana explores the young people’s routes into homelessness, their experiences of different forms of homelessness within the context of the London Housing crisis and their experiences of statutory and wider services and considers these against the theory of place and placelessness.

Secondly Dr Ionut Cioarta presents his research on the Phenomenon of Roma Homelessness in the UK. Ionut’s research was published last year and provides important insights on housing issues facing Roma people based on interviews with stakeholders and people with lived experience in two case study areas – Luton and Govan, Glasgow. His research found evidence of significant inequality and examples of discrimination and set out recommendations for stakeholders to improve how they work with Roma people. You can read the report here

I-SPHERE seminar – Emily Kenway

Date: November 16, 2023
Time: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

The Ambivalence of Street Life: Exploring ‘modern slavery’ and money-making among people experiencing homelessness 

People experiencing homelessness (PEH) are recognised to be at heightened risk of ‘modern slavery’ including human trafficking and forced labour. The limited available data on PEH who become victims shows that, mostly, they were initially recruited into that circumstance by a job offer, e.g. a person approaching them at a soup kitchen with an offer. Thus far, policy responses have focused on ‘raising awareness’ among i) homelessness service staff to identify victims and ii) PEH to warn them of dubious recruitment approaches. This project seeks to develop a fuller and more nuanced account of the recruitment of destitute people as a multi-dimensional process, focusing on the ways PEH understand and respond to offers of money-making activities. This presentation provides the findings from the initial wave of interviews and analysis, conducted among people currently living in Edinburgh who are currently or recently homeless and who have the right to be in the UK. Content note: sexual violence, exploitation, violence, bereavement. 

Emily Kenway, is a doctoral scholar at the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh. and author of ‘Who Cares: the hidden crisis of caregiving and how we solve it’.

I-SPHERE Seminar- Carla Reeson

Date: October 24, 2023
Time: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm
Location: Online

The Implementation of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017: Single Homelessness and the HRA

Dr Carla Reeson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Law at the University of Nottingham. She completed her PhD in 2022 and holds research interests in housing law and policy, social welfare, and administrative justice. Carla has delivered teaching in a range of areas including property law, public and administrative Law, and homelessness law and policy.

This seminar explores research conducted on frontline implementation of the HRA 2017 within local authorities in the Midlands. This research used an ethnographic case study methodology to observe how new statutory homelessness obligations were performed in practice and to consider whether the ambitious aims of the HRA 2017 to reduce homelessness and revolutionise the culture of homelessness service delivery, had been realised. The seminar focuses on findings relating to experiences of single households within the revised statutory framework.

I-SPHERE Seminar with Dora Welker

Date: April 19, 2023
Time: 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: MS Teams

Victim Moves or Survivor Stays? Domestic abuse safe housing in England and Scotland

Dora Welker presents the findings of her PhD research project looking at housing problems and domestic abuse. Drawing on evidence from key informant interviews and service user focus groups in England and Scotland, the talk explores some of the key housing routes for individuals fleeing domestic abuse and their merits/challenges: 1) the statutory homelessness system, 2) communal refuge, and 3) sanctuary schemes. The seminar considers how ongoing controversies about different housing provision for survivors of domestic abuse contribute to broader debates around the ‘victim moves’ assumption and the move away from ‘shelterisation’ of homelessness services.

I-SPHERE seminar – Poverty, parent work intensity and child emotional and conduct problems with Morag Treanor and Patricio Troncoso

Date: January 18, 2023
Time: 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm

Poverty is known to be associated with poorer child mental wellbeing. Relatedly, the security and quality of employment are reported to affect adult wellbeing. Less is known about how both poverty and parental employment affect children’s mental wellbeing.

In this seminar, I-SPHERE’s Professor Morag Treanor and Dr Patricio Troncoso discuss a new paper in which they use the Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) study to examine how poverty and work intensity are associated with mental wellbeing. The paper discusses how the findings can inform policies to tackle the effects of unstable and/or changing socioeconomic circumstances on children’s mental health wellbeing in the context of an economic crisis, as well as its implications for the contemporary socioeconomic landscape and the devastating effects expected of the COVID-19 crisis.

You can read their paper here

God and Good Works with Dr. Ravi Gokani, Lakeland University, Canada

Date: December 7, 2022
Time: 3:45 pm - 5:00 pm

In this seminar, Dr. Ravi Gokani discussed the evidence and implications of the ‘dual mandate’ in Canada: how evangelical faith-based social service organizations manage two mandates – the first to serve the most vulnerable populations and the second to bring followers into the fold of evangelical Christianity.

Dr. Ravi Gokani is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Science’s School of Social Work at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. With academic training in philosophy, social psychology, community psychology, and social work, he studies the intersection of religion and the Canadian social welfare system, including social policy and professional practice by social workers. He teachings courses in social welfare and social justice.

This seminar was not recorded but do get in touch if you would like to learn more about Ravi’s work.