Today we launch the first wave findings from our ongoing study. Below is the overview, summarising our key first wave findings on the effects and ethics of welfare conditionality. It draws on data from interviews with 52 policy stakeholders, 27 focus groups conducted with practitioners, and 480 ‘wave a’ qualitative longitudinal interviews with with nine groups of welfare service users in England and Scotland.
Below are nine first wave findings papers covering each of our study’s policy areas in more detail.
First wave findings: anti-social behaviour
First wave findings: disabled people
First wave findings: homelessness
First wave findings: jobseekers
First wave findings: lone parents
First wave findings: migrants
First wave findings: offenders
First wave findings: social tenants
First wave findings: Universal Credit
Update June 2016: our first wave Scotland findings
Overview: social security in Scotland
Further context and background on the study areas is available in our context and briefing papers.
Findings from the first wave of our research on social housing are published today. The research by Prof Suzanne Fitzpatrick and Dr Beth Watts from Heriot Watt University focuses on fixed-term tenancies in social housing. It includes views from landlords and tenants, as well as other stakeholders.
The research found that fixed-term tenancies are causing considerable anxiety for some tenants, particularly those with a disability or health problems and for families with children. Some of the social landlords who were initially most enthusiastic about FTTs have become disillusioned about them because it seems unlikely they will generate any significant number of additional lettings. There are also concerns about administrative cost and complexity and the potential to destabilise communities.
Read the full report
The project’s main initial report, titled Welfare sanctions and conditionality in the UK, was published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in September 2014.
It finds that:
- benefit sanctions are disproportionately affecting young people under 25, and there is evidence of severe impacts on homeless people and other vulnerable groups;
- international evidence indicates that benefit sanctions substantially raise exits from benefits, and may increase short-term job entry; but there are unfavourable longer-term outcomes for earnings, job quality and employment retention;
- there are concerns that welfare conditionality can have unintended consequences, including: distancing people from support; causing hardship and even destitution; displacing rather than resolving issues such as street homelessness and anti-social behaviour; and negative impacts on ‘third parties’, particularly children.
Read the full report on the JRF website
The project’s annual report for 2013/14, containing news of all our activities, can be downloaded here.