WMCA Homelessness Taskforce

We’re pleased to announce that M·E·L Research has been commissioned by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Homelessness Taskforce to research the impact of temporary accommodation (TA) on homeless families in the West Midlands.

 

The WMCA Homelessness Taskforce was established in 2017 with the aim to ‘design out’ homelessness, and includes all seven constituent local authorities and wider public and voluntary sector agencies. The Taskforce is committed to promoting prevention of homelessness by identifying and addressing gaps and flaws in policies, procedures, laws, structures, systems and relationships that either cause or fail to prevent homelessness.

The Taskforce recognises that homelessness takes many forms: rough sleeping, sofa surfing, night-shelters, B&B, temporary accommodation, hostels, squatting. Homelessness is a complex mix of personal and wider structural factors, such as health, employment, relationships and housing.

There are about 4,000 such families in the West Midlands Combined Authority area and we have yet to see the full impact of Covid-19 on homelessness. The high number of families living in TA nationally has recently been highlighted in a report by Shelter.

This project is about supporting local authorities in their aim of a long-term reduction in the use of TA, while minimising the negative impacts on those in TA and maximising families’ protective factors in the short-term. We want our research to help TA maintain family life, work, health, education and longer-term opportunities for families involved.

A key part of the project is speaking to and engaging families themselves, drawing out co-produced case studies with them. On top of that, we will be speaking to councils and other organisations working with such families. Analysing existing data will form a third plank.

If you have any good practice on temporary accommodation you want to share as part of this project, please contact adam.knight-markiegi@melresearch.co.uk.