Evaluating the impact of benefit sanctions on the homeless

Crisis, the national homeless charity, believed that benefit claimants who are homeless and already living chaotic lives may be particularly affected by benefit sanctions and therefore required a firm evidence base with which to lobby politicians following the General Election in 2015.

Qa was commissioned by Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) to complete 1,000 face-to-face interviews with homeless people around the country as part of a study to understand experiences and views on claiming benefits and the impact of being sanctioned whilst homeless.

Reaching a challenging audience

In order to access so many homeless people to take part in the study we worked with Crisis to engage hostel and day centres throughout the UK that provide regular support services to homeless people. We then arranged to conduct surveys at times when a significant number of homeless service users would be present.

Researchers selected to take in delivering the survey possessed high levels of empathy and were able to adapt their approaches to engage respondents that often face multiple challenges in their lives.

What the client said…

The CRESR Team at Sheffield Hallam University provided the following feedback:

Qa Research pulled out all the stops to ensure this large scale, innovative and complex survey was delivered efficiently within a tight timescale. Their flexible approach gave us every confidence in their willingness and ability to overcome unforeseen challenges which emerged along the way. The quality of the field force and management of fieldwork was demonstrated by the excellent final data set we received.  It was a pleasure working with the team.’

Professor Christina Beatty, Head of the Data Analysis & Policy Team, Centre for CRESR

Key findings

Find out more about the results of the research and the methodology used to collect the data by reading the final report.

For more information about the study contact helen.hardcastle@qaresearch.co.uk or call 01904 632039.