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An evaluation of the effect of housing provision on re‐offending

Mark Ellison (Based at Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Chris Fox (Based at Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Adrian Gains (Based at Vision Housing, London, UK.)
Gary Pollock (Based at Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)

Safer Communities

ISSN: 1757-8043

Article publication date: 11 January 2013




Established in 2007, Vision Housing is a small London‐based specialist housing provider working primarily with ex‐offenders. This study seeks to evaluate the impact of Vision Housing's provision of housing and support on re‐offending rates.


The evaluation design compared expected re‐offending rates after one year calculated using offender group reconviction scale (OGRS3) with actual reoffending rates after one year based on data from the police national computer (PNC). “Re‐offending” was defined in line with the current Ministry of Justice definition based on “proven re‐offending”.


The predicted rate of proven re‐offending for 400 clients referred to Vision over 12 months was 40.7 per cent. Their actual proven re‐offending rate over 12 months was 37.0 per cent. This is 3.7 percentage points less than the predicted proven re‐offending rate, equivalent to a 9.1 per cent reduction in proven re‐offending. This result was statistically significant. Analysis also suggested that Vision Housing is more successful with women; offenders under the age of 35; offenders referred by the Prison and Probation Service; offenders with a higher predicted risk of proven re‐offending; and offenders who had committed more serious offences.

Research limitations/implications

The evaluation conducted to date does not include a comparison group and therefore has relatively low levels of internal validity.

Practical implications

The authors are not aware of any UK studies of the impact of housing on re‐offending that have successfully used a more methodologically robust evaluation design. Until such studies are carried out, the results of the current study should be of great interest to policy‐makers and those delivering rehabilitative services to ex‐offenders in partnership with third sector organisations.


This study has produced evidence of the impact of housing on recidivism and quantified that impact.



Ellison, M., Fox, C., Gains, A. and Pollock, G. (2013), "An evaluation of the effect of housing provision on re‐offending", Safer Communities, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 27-37.



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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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