Department of Political Science


Homelessness in Britain: an agenda for change

29 February 2024, 6:15 pm–7:30 pm

A cartoon of a person sleeping on a sofa

Part of the UCL Policy & Practice seminar series.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Eleanor Kingwell-Banham


Malet Place
Gower Street
United Kingdom


New research from Shelter indicates that as of December 2023, there are at least 309,000 homeless, which means 1 in 182 people in England are in this situation. These include people who sleep rough and those in temporary accommodation. The latest data represents significant increases in the level of homelessness in the UK; the situation is getting worse, not better. What is to be done? What is the agenda to solve the homelessness crisis across the UK? Join us for an insightful conversation with policy experts, academics, and a campaigner who is experiencing homelessness. 

Meet the speakers

Kath Scanlon  is Distinguished Policy Fellow at LSE London, a research unit at the London School of Economics, where she has been based for more than 20 years.  An economist and planner by training, she carries out research into a broad range of housing topics including landlord behaviour, collaborative housing communities and provision of new affordable housing. She and her colleague Prof Christine Whitehead have carried out studies of the cost of temporary accommodation for homeless households for funders including London Councils and MHCLG (as it was). 

Alex Diner  is a senior researcher at the New Economics Foundation. He previously worked as a human rights solicitor, responding to the Grenfell Tower fire, representing the bereaved and survivors at the public inquiry. He has been a political adviser in parliament, and local councillor in London. He has recently published a paper on reforming Right to Buy and is currently working on research to make the case for social housing. 

Paul Atherton (FRSA) is a filmmaker, playwright, author and social campaigner. After a credit-file error prevented him from renewing a tenancy, he became homeless in 2009 & remains so to this day. He's used his firsthand experience to advise MP Bob Blackman on his homelessness reduction bill, contributed to the British Academy & Oxford University Press, Representing Homeless Index and regularly appears in the press discussing the subject. 

Murray Fraser  is Professor of Architecture and Global Culture at UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture. As an architect/architectural historian, he worked on Haringey Council housing projects while writing his PhD thesis about early state housing in Ireland. He is currently designing sustainable affordable dwellings and was co-author of Design for All – A Place to Call Home (2023) alongside UCL medical colleagues.  

Chair:  Dr Rod Abouharb  is Associate Professor in International Relations in the UCL Department of Political Science and School of Public Policy. 


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This event will be recorded and the video will be uploaded to our YouTube channel.

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There is step free access into the lecture theatre(s).
The door opening width(s) is/are 75cm+ for the lecture theatre(s).
There are designated spaces for wheelchair users within the lecture theatre(s).
There is space for an assistance dog.
There is a hearing assistance system for the lecture theatre(s).
There is not a visual fire alarm beacon in the lecture theatre(s).

More info can be found here.

Other events in this series