By: Pete Jefferys
Published: October 2012
More than one in seven ex-offenders were homeless prior to prison - and over a third need help finding somewhere to live upon release. There are many challenges for ex-offenders in finding and keeping a stable home after leaving prison. Recent and forthcoming cuts to housing benefit and advice services, and the ongoing shortage of social homes, will make these challenges even sharper.
Finding stable accommodation for ex-offenders will be particularly important if the government is to achieve its aim of cutting re-offending and therefore crime. Evidence suggests that having a stable home reduces the likelihood that those who have left prison will re-offend. As with other vulnerable people, ex-offenders’ housing options are being impacted by cuts to welfare and housing advice, and the scarcity of affordable and stable homes. These changes and challenges will put increasing pressure on the critical work of housing advice services for ex-offenders. It is therefore crucial that those who commission housing advice services for ex-offenders are aware of the evidence on what works.