BA (Hons) Politics, Philosophy and Economics (University of Oxford, 2006), MRes Social Policy (University of York, 2007)
Comparing the outcomes of rights-based and non-rights based homelessness systems: applying a moral philosophy approach
I began my PhD in October 2009 having worked for several years as a social researcher in the third sector. In 2007/8 I worked at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on the ‘social evils’ consultation and as a research assistant on their Poverty research programme. In 2008 I joined the Young Foundation, a centre for social research and innovation in East London. There I worked on the Mapping Needs programme, funded by 13 philanthropic organizations and using various research methods to explore emerging and unmet needs across the UK. My work included completing a qualitative study on people’s experiences of significant transitions, including bereavement, leaving prison and being made redundant.
My choice of PhD topic reflects a longstanding interest in homelessness and the policy responses designed to tackle it. Between 2004 and 2006, I volunteered and worked for Shelter as an administrator, campaigner and research assistant in the policy department. My Masters dissertation focused on the ethics and implementation of the ‘intentionality criterion’ in UK homelessness legislation.
My PhD seeks to evaluate and compare the outcomes of rights-based and non rights-based approaches to homelessness, exploring the capacity of legal rights to housing for homeless households to overcome stigma, empower service users and ensure that housing is allocated to households most in need. The research will use qualitative research methods to explore the experiences of service users in Scotland, with a strong legal rights-based approach to homelessness and the Republic of Ireland, which has pursued a non-rights based strategy. This choice of topic reflects my approach to social policy, which is embedded in an interest in social justice, and the moral and political philosophies that can underpin policy interventions.
As a PGWT I have taught and contributed to the following undergraduate modules:
Watts, B. (2010) Weathering the Storm: Negotiating Transitions in Britain Today, London: The Young Foundation.
Watts, B. , Vale, D., Mulgan, G., Dale, M., Ali, R. and Norman, W. (2009) Sinking and Swimming: understanding Britain’s Unmet Needs, London: The Young Foundation.
Vale, D., Watts, B. and Franklin, J. (2009) The Receding Tide: Understanding unmet needs in a harsher economic climate, London: The Young Foundation.
Watts, B. (2008) What are today’s social evils? The results of a web consultation, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Watts, B., Lloyd, C., Mowlam, A. and Creegan, C. (2008) What are today’s social evils? York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Roland, R (2008), The Ideology of Home Ownership: Homeowner Societies and theRole of Housing, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, for the Journal of Social Policy (January, 2010)
Grimshaw, J. M. (2008), Family Homelessness: Causes, Consequences and the Policy Response in England, London: British Library, for the Journal of Social Policy (October, 2009)
Malpass, P. and Cairncross, L. (Eds) (2006) Building on the Past: Visions of Housing Futures, Bristol: The Policy Press, for the Journal of Social Policy (October, 2007)