Researcher nominated for Impact Award

6 December 2017

Dr Peter Mackie from Cardiff University’s School of Geography and Planning has been nominated for a prestigious social research impact award.

The Wales Social Research Awards, presented by the Social Research Association of Wales (SRA Cymru) recognise and celebrate the outstanding research that has been undertaken by social researchers in Wales. There are four awards: Special Achievement Award; Early Career Researcher of the Year; Research Impact Award; and Research Innovation Award. Winners will be announced in a gala Award Ceremony which will take place in Cardiff Bay on Thursday 7 December 2017.

Dr Mackie, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and senior lecturer within the School, has been nominated for the Research Impact Award in recognition of his extensive and transformative policy and social impact in the field of homelessness. Currently an advisor to the Welsh Government on homelessness and rough sleeping, Dr Mackie is also a Trustee of Welsh homelessness charity Llamau.

Dr Mackie’s homelessness research and his engagement with policy-makers, practitioners and third sector partners have led to important changes in homelessness legislation in Wales (2014-2015) and England (2017-18).

Commissioned (alongside co-investigators at Swansea and Heriot-Watt Universities) to undertake a review of homelessness legislation in Wales, Dr Mackie was charged with examining the strengths and weaknesses of the existing policy framework.

His innovative approach incorporated an examination of previously unexplored administrative data which pinpointed significant weaknesses in the legislation, not least the difference in how single homeless people are supported. The study was also highly participatory, involving the homelessness sector and garnering its support for the review recommendations. Welsh Government took the rare step of incorporating nearly the entirety of the Mackie review (2012) recommendations as the basis of a Housing White Paper. Dr Mackie was invited to support the process of consulting on the proposed legislative changes and joined a Ministerial Advisory Group established to help guide the development of statutory guidance accompanying the legislation.

In April 2015, the Housing (Wales) Act, which focuses on the prevention of homelessness and the introduction of highly progressive new duties on Welsh local authorities to meaningfully assist all homeless people, was introduced. In the first year of the new legislation (2015-16), there was a 60% reduction in the number of homeless people local authorities were unable to accommodate.

Dr Mackie’s exemplary work continues and he has been advising Crisis, a leading UK homelessness charity, and its campaign calling for similar legislative changes. Recently, this has resulted in new legislation, the Homelessness Reduction Act, which will come into effect in England in 2018.

Professor Paul Milbourne, Head of the School of Geography and Planning, said: “Peter has made a huge personal and professional commitment to producing innovative and policy-relevant research to ensure homelessness policy in Wales and England changes to more effectively meet the needs of homeless people.

Professor Paul Milbourne

“I offer my congratulations to Peter on this nomination and wish him well at the awards.”

Professor Paul Milbourne, Head of the School of Geography and Planning
For more information visit the School webpages.