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Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research


This project evaluated the implementation, operation and success of the Enhanced Housing Options Trailblazers programmes. These aimed to develop innovative approaches to delivering housing services, extending to wider client groups and linking housing advice to wider advice about a range of issues. This work was lead by CCHPR, with involvement from Birmingham University (Centre for Urban and Regional Analysis) and Shared Intelligence.

The Enhanced Housing Options Trailblazers were being run by DCLG with support from the DWP. They aim was to develop innovative approaches to delivering housing options/advice services, by offering housing advice to people with low and medium housing need as well as those with acute need, and also by linking housing advice to wider advice about a range of issues such as training and employment, financial management, and access to benefits. The evaluation:

  • assembled robust evidence on the process issues associated with setting up enhancements to existing services, as proposed by the trailblazers;
  • measured the success of the programmes in achieving core objectives (meeting housing need with a wider range of solutions; using stock more effectively; tackling worklessness; and improving customer service);
  • tracked the immediate and longer term outcomes for the different client groups who approach the service;
  • explored the costs of running the service and the additional net cost savings that the service can generate;
  • identified lessons learnt, leading to the development of a good practice toolkit as part of a series of measures to enable the housing options approach and to encourage the development of enhanced housing options services by other local authorities.


Anna Clarke

Fiona Lyall Grant

Sanna Markkanen

Sarah Monk

Christine Whitehead

Publication Date

October 2011