Skip to main content


People experiencing homelessness and offered accommodation since Covid-19 will be interviewed as part of research assessing the support they have received.


As part of the government's response to coronavirus (COVID-19), 15,000 rough sleepers have now been offered self-contained temporary accommodation in England, mainly in hotels.

This approach, which has involved the decanting of hostels, shelters and similar shared provision for rough sleepers, is a short-term response.

With lockdown ending, decisions are being taken about how to house former rough sleepers in line with the UK government's commitment to prevent people from going back to the streets - including, potentially, through the re-opening of shelter-type accommodation.

Existing temporary accommodation with shared facilities might make it impossible for people to comply with government social distancing advice. So these decisions will impact on the risk of a second wave of infection from COVID-19 and possibly any mutations.

Randomised controlled trial

This research will pursue a unique time limited opportunity to conduct a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of settled housing on the risk of COVID-19 infection and housing stability for people experiencing homelessness.

That many homeless people are currently waiting to be housed means they can be randomly allocated to different housing solutions at scale quickly.

Study design

MOVING ON is a 2-arm trial with participants being randomised to either Settled Accommodation (SA) of Temporary Accommodation (usual care). We plan to recruit 1,200 rough sleepers across six Local Authorities (LA) in England. All those taking part will be:

  • aged 18 and over
  • single person homeless households
    • temporarily accommodated by the Local Authority
    • newly approaching LAs for support
  • have recourse to public funds.

Study aim

The primary objective is to investigate whether Settled Accommodation (SA) prevents COVID-19 infection and reduces housing instability compared to Temporary Accommodation (TA) (usual care).

Secondary objectives are to conduct a process evaluation to examine whether SA is delivered as intended, works as hypothesized, is scalable and sustainable. We will also conduct an economic evaluation to examine cost-effectiveness.

Sites open

Bournemouth and Hackney are now open.

Key facts

Start date 7 Aug 2020
End date 6 Feb 2022
Grant value £560,627
  • Recruiting