Housing and Poverty

Housing and poverty

How can housing reduce the impact of poverty in the UK?


Policy and Research Manager
01904 615911

JRF is exploring the relationship between housing and poverty to identify effective housing solutions for people living in poverty.

The current state of the economy and housing market, along with major demographic changes, austerity measures and welfare reform, have pushed housing higher up the political agenda.

Limited housing supply is increasing competition for homes with those at the bottom of the market at risk of losing out. Homelessness is increasing and we are building less than half the homes we need to meet demand.

We have found that there is little evidence about the complex relationships between housing and poverty throughout people's lives and in different types of places, and equally few practical solutions to improve the supply of genuinely affordable housing for those experiencing poverty.

These factors mean that robust evidence is crucial to developing effective policy and practice responses to meet the housing needs of people experiencing poverty.

As JRF develops its evidence-based anti-poverty strategy for the UK, this is the perfect time to focus on the relationship between housing and poverty and find practical ways of easing the housing crisis for people in or at risk of poverty. Together with our partners the Housing Studies Charitable Trust and the National Housing Federation. We are working on three strands of research and practice looking at:

  • Housing and poverty over the life course – finding out how people's housing circumstances relate to their experience and risk of poverty;
  • Extreme housing exclusion – exploring approaches to providing housing for migrants, refugees or others in or at risk of exploitative work and/or extreme housing exclusion;
  • Creating a new development framework for affordable housing supply that will include housing for those in greatest housing need.

This programme, which runs from 2013-2017, builds on what we have learned from our work on housing for young people, tackling housing market volatility and housing and migration and other programmes about housing and communities.

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