Housing needs, affordability and access

A longstanding involvement in the linked issues of housing affordability and housing need has come back into focus in a context where these chronic problems seem to be worsening and where there is agreement across the political spectrum that more needs to be done, but what, where and how much remains unclear. Our research has illuminated the definition and measurement of these problems and exemplifies the most developed economic-based model to analyse future housing requirements and the likely outcomes and impacts of different policies in different regions and types of locality. Recent work has also focused on the definition and measurement of homelessness, going beyond the confines of the statutory system, and projecting likely homelessness scenarios into the future.

The table provides a summary of key recent research projects in this field.  For publications see our Publications section.

TitleAboutDatesFunderLead Researcher
Housing supply requirements across Great Britain for low-income households and homeless peopleThe project examines the scale of additional housing needed across England, Scotland and Wales, with particular emphasis on meeting the housing requirements of low income households and homeless people. The research highlights the current need (including backlog of need) and future housing requirements across the entire market, with focus on the need for housing products which are accessible and affordable to households at the sub market level.Further information2018National Housing Federation and CrisisGlen Bramley
Temporary Accommodation in ScotlandThe study aims to provide a detailed understanding of the nature, purpose and use of Temporary Accommodation (TA) across Scotland. It looks at the definition, types, purpose, quality and appropriateness and costs of TA and variations in this across Scotland and across homeless groups. It examines the
experiences, at individual household level, in terms of length and
patterns and satisfaction with TA. It provides recommendations on the future shape, nature and function of TA in Scotland.Further information
2018Social BiteBeth Watts
The Alternatives For Including Non-household Populations In Estimates Of Personal Well-being And DestitutionThis project is to look at alternative ways in which "non-household" populations can be counted in measures of living standards and personal well-being.
The project has two main stages:
• a review of literature and data sources covering the populations and settings of interest
• a detailed feasibility phase to test specific approaches to measuring the main characteristics and circumstances of a range of the populations of interest
The non-private household (NPHH) population includes people living in: care homes; long-stay hospitals; military accommodation; immigration removal centres; students in halls of residence; travellers in caravan sites; prisons; hostels for homeless; bed and breakfasts and unsupported temporary accommodation; homeless people sleeping rough; sofa surfers
The first stage has been completed and the report highlights what is known for each of the NPHH groups on the size of the population, living standards and well being and recommendations for improvements.

Further information
2018Office of National StatisticsGlen Bramley
Evidence Centre on UK Housing Heriot Watt University is a partner in the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE). The centre, a consortium of academic and sector leaders was established in 2017 to provide a leading voice in the UK on housing policy and
practice. The Centre draws together an expert, multi-disciplinary, multi-sector team to share learning from regions and countries and establish more effective mechanisms for exchanging evidence and learning across devolved jurisdictions. The centre aims include to lead comprehensive research and foster innovation.
Further information
2017-2022EHRCSuzanne Fitzpatrick
Homelessness MonitorThe Homelessness monitor is a longditudinal study commissioned by Crisis and funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The monitor defines ‘core’ and ‘wider’ homelessness and measures the scale of these phenomena for England, Wales and Scotland, as well as forecasting future trends. It examines the impact of policy and legislation on homelessness across the UK.

Further information

2011-2021CrisisGlen Bramley and Suzanne Fitzpatrick