Our 2013 research into sanctions and homeless people indicated that clients of homelessness services are at greater risk of being sanctioned. It found a third of homeless people on Job Seekers Allowance had had benefits reduced or stopped, which is disproportionately higher than the general population.
Welfare reform research
Based on interviews with homeless people and a survey of 98 homelessness services, our High Cost to Pay research into the impact of benefit sanctions found that:
- Around a third of homeless people on Job Seekers Allowance and nearly one in five on Employment and Support Allowance have been sanctioned, which is disproportionately higher than the general population.
- Nearly a third of services report homeless people being sanctioned while facing poor mental health, learning difficulties or substance misuse problems
- The majority report clients being pushed into debt, food poverty and survival crime
- Services report clients’ existing problems getting worse as a result of sanctions, with only a minority being motivated by sanctions to find employment
More needs to be done
The report calls for changes to the sanctions regime to take into account the issues homeless people are trying to overcome
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Chris is our policy manager with particular responsibility for a number of areas including welfare and migration. Chris is currently covering for Paul Anderson while he is on sabbatical leave.
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