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Impact case study

Tackling Multiple Exclusion Homelessness

Unit(s) of assessment: Social Work and Social Policy

School: School of Social Sciences


Research into homelessness at NTU is based on a long-standing collaborative relationship between Dr Graham Bowpitt and Framework Housing Association a charity working with homeless people. Dr Bowpitt's research has:

  • influenced the shaping of recent government responses to multiple disadvantage
  • guided commissioners and service providers in the field of supported housing
  • enhanced the employability of some homeless people.

The research has achieved impact at both the local and national level:

National level impact

Findings from the ESRC-funded HOME study were presented at an event organised by Shelter, which was attended by around 90 policy-makers and practitioners from the field of homelessness and supported housing.

Local level impact

  • Work done between Bowpitt and Framework Housing Association, based in the East Midlands, has had significant impact in the local area. Exploratory research informs the way Framework operates and evaluative research tests the quality of its services and measures its benefit to service users.
  • In Nottingham, the Emmanuel House day centre commissioned a report based on an analysis of NTU's findings concerning the value of day centres to people with multiply excluded forms of homelessness. Emmanuel House used this report to help avert the threat of closure by securing new funding from private sources when local authority funding was withdrawn.
  • The HOME study has had a local as well as a national impact. A total of ten peer researchers in Nottingham and London participated in the study by designing research tools, doing interviews, providing feedback and disseminating findings. This experience has enhanced their employability and has been a contributory factor in some of them securing employment. A DVD summarising the findings is now available on YouTube.

Research background

The main research projects are:

  • Small-scale projects to evaluate Framework Housing Association’s services. Bowpitt was involved in supervising students and drawing out the significance of the findings. Examples include:
    • An evaluation of a hostel for people with long-term mental health problems, which demonstrated the value of enabling ex-residents to continue using hostel facilities.
    • A comparison between total abstinence and controlled drinking approaches in hostels for people with alcohol problems challenged the received wisdom that the latter method cannot work for people with severe alcohol dependency.
    • An evaluation of support for tenants with continuing drug problems showed that relationships with support workers had intrinsic value beyond the provision of risk management services.
  • From 2009-11, the ESRC funded an NTU project on homelessness that formed part of its multiple exclusion homelessness research programme. The NTU research team of Dr Bowpitt, Professor Peter Dwyer, Eva Sundin and Mark Weinstein carried out the HOME study in collaboration with Framework Housing Association and Thames Reach in London. The research findings were based on interviews with multiply excluded homeless people and members of support agencies. The project revealed that the conflicting priorities of homeless people and support agencies impede attempts to tackle multiple exclusion.



Related projects

Collaborative projects with Framework Housing Association

  • 'What works at Waterloo? Exploring the distinctiveness and effectiveness of provision in a supported housing hostel for people with mental health problems', MSc project funded by FHA and supervised by Bowpitt, 2005.
  • 'A comparative evaluation of Sneinton Hermitage and Studio House; supported housing projects for people with chronic alcohol dependency', MSc project funded by FHA and supervised by Bowpitt, 2006.
  • 'Tenancy support for substance users: a study of the Handel Street Tenancy Support Team', an evaluation project funded by FHA and undertaken by FHA staff with support from Bowpitt, 2007.

ESRC funded project

  • 'The support priorities of multiply excluded homeless people and their compatibility with support agency agendas', funded under the Multiple Exclusion Homelessness Research Programme, RES-188-25-0001, 2009-11