Homelessness & the impact of Brexit: The challenges and opportunities

The UK’s exit from the European Union will pose major challenges and opportunities for every policy area – including the growing issue of homelessness. The ‘core homeless’ population in Great Britain stood at 160,000 households in 2016.

Key findings

  • Brexit’s most immediate potential impacts on homelessness and the experience of homeless people are on EU nationals who are currently in Great Britain and experiencing homelessness. But the risks and opportunities Brexit poses are not confined to EU nationals – they relate to the experience of British, EU, and other foreign nationals living in the country.
  • The report 'Homelessness and the impact of Brexit' provides an opportunity and risks framework to aid decision making that could impact on homelessness in the short and long term with regards to the Brexit process and respective domestic policy.
  • In the short term, the framework focus on the application process for new immigration statuses. In the medium term, it focused on the future immigration system, the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, and impacts of Brexit on future domestic policy. In the long term – and far less certain – are impacts on the economy as a whole and what this will mean for homelessness.


Oakley, M. & Thunder, J. (2018) Homelessness and the impact of Brexit: Tackling the challenges and grasping the opportunities. London: WPI, Crisis & Homeless Link.