A year in review

Key findings from Campbell Tickell’s research over the past 12 months


Image: Istock

Liz Zacharias

Director, Campbell Tickell

Annie Field

Policy and Research Team Manager, Campbell Tickell

Campbell Tickell has worked on some great research and evaluation projects in 2021, covering areas including housing for asylum seekers, Housing First, affordable finance and others. Here, we summarise some of the key findings from our research, as well as the lessons learned.

Alternative accommodation for asylum seekers: Ireland

In January 2021 the Irish Refugee Council published our report Implementing Alternatives to Direct Provision (the form of housing available to newly arrived asylum seekers in the Republic of Ireland).

The report was written after extensive consultation with housing professionals, people with lived experience and other stakeholders. The key recommendations were to adopt a ‘three-stage’ pathway, incorporating a mixture of models to meet the housing and support needs of people seeking protection.

These have to some extent been reflected in the White Paper published in February 2021. We hope that the final legislative changes will create a new system for housing asylum seekers that is humane and enables people to settle into their new lives quickly.


Housing First: West Midlands Combined Authority

In September 2021 we completed a research project for the West Midlands Combined Authority on its Housing First pilot. This was one of three national pilots funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, now the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The project was an iterative action research project and we moulded the project to fit emerging issues, covering three areas:

  • Multi-agency working
  • Housing supply
  • Modelling future needs

This research provoked much discussion regarding the need for long-term support for some people with complex needs, and the need for multi-agency approaches to commissioning and service delivery, echoing points made in the recent Kerslake Review into homelessness.


COVID-19 and social housing supply

We also contributed to a report published by Home Connections, which investigated how the patterns of supply and demand in social housing have changed as a result of COVID-19. This was based on analysis of over 26,000 properties advertised via Home Connections’ Choice-Based Lettings systems.

The data showed that the pandemic only briefly dampened the levels of supply and demand for social housing, and that current provision does not adequately meet demand. Across the sector we need more homes in London, more large properties suitable for families with several children, more wheelchair-accessible properties, and potentially more one-bed properties to meet the increasing numbers of single homeless people.


Tenant financial resilience

In November, we published a report with Fair4All Finance, which seeks to enable the development of partnerships between affordable lenders and housing associations.

Financial hardship has been increasing, with the end of the furlough scheme, removal of the Universal Credit uplift, and rising inflation and energy prices. Landlords are well placed to offer financial advice to their tenants.

Our work, which included conversations with tenants and staff from landlords and lenders, identified that access to affordable credit can be a vital resource for tenants hit by financial shocks.

Our report provides practical guidance and successful examples for housing providers. To find out more you can read the executive summary and full report, and watch the recording (below) of the webinar launch of the report.


Lessons learned

So what have we learned?

  1. The best research – and resulting reports – come out of a collaborative approach with our clients, helping them to understand a rapidly changing context and grapple with failures across the social welfare system
  2. The best solutions come from working in partnership with others across system boundaries. This is not new but has become more critical – the challenge now is to build on this rather than revert to business as usual
  3. The outputs of our projects are most compelling when they are drawn from lived experience and show the personal impact of the issues our sectors tackle

We are proud to have contributed to such important work in 2021. For 2022 we hope our clients continue to rise to new challenges and continue to meet the needs of tenants and customers. And when they need a collaborative partner, we will be there to support them with our insights and expertise!


Read all our published reports from 2021


Catch up on previous CT Briefs