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Personal profile


Beth is a Senior Research Fellow at I-SPHERE, Heriot-Watt University. Her research focuses on homelessness, youth homelessness, rough sleeping and complex needs, social housing, and poverty. Her current work includes monitoring the impacts of welfare reform and the wider policy and economic context on UK homelessness via the 2011-2021 Crisis and Joseph Rowntree Foundation-funded Homelessness Monitors project and evidencing the impacts of welfare conditionality on young people, rough sleepers and social housing tenants via the Economic and Social Research Council-funded Welfare Conditionality: sanctions, support and behaviour change project. She has a background in philosophy and a particular interest the ethics of social policy and practice interventions. Beth is the Chair of the Housing Studies Association, on the editorial board of the journal Housing Studies and a non-executive director for The Rock Trust, a Scottish youth homelessness charity. She completed her PhD comparing responses to homelessness in Scotland and Ireland in 2013 at the University of York and has previously worked as a researcher at The Young Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Shelter.

Research interests

  • Homelessness and youth homelessness
  • Rough sleeping and complex needs
  • Social housing and security of tenure
  • Welfare conditionality
  • Political and moral philosophy and their application in social policy analysis

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homelessness Social Sciences
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Co Author Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2010 2020

Capabilities, Value Pluralism and Homelessness

Watts, B. & Fitzpatrick, S., 6 Jan 2020, In : Housing, Theory and Society.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

housing supply

Rebalancing the Rhetoric: A Normative Analysis of Enforcement in Street Homelessness Policy

Johnsen, S., Watts, B. & Fitzpatrick, S., 10 Dec 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Urban Studies.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
social justice
qualitative research

The homelessness monitor: England 2019

Fitzpatrick, S., Pawson, H., Bramley, G., Wood, J., Watts, B., Stephens, M. & Blenkinsopp, J., May 2019, London: Crisis. 102 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Open Access

Activities 2013 2018

Housing and Domestic Abuse

Beth Watts (Speaker)
23 Mar 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Images of Homelessness, Focus Ireland and Trinity College Dublin Seminar

Beth Watts (Keynote speaker)
16 Jan 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Framework HA Impact Briefing

Beth Watts (Invited speaker)
25 Jan 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

University of Sheffield, Urban Studies and Planning Seminar, 'The Ethics of Welfare Conditionality'

Beth Watts (Invited speaker)
14 Feb 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

Monitoring Homelessness in the UK

Beth Watts (Speaker)
5 Mar 2018

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk