What is the National Advisory Panel (NAP)?

The NAP is a regular forum, set-up in April 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as a way of ensuring that national Government heard the impact of pandemic from those with direct experience of disadvantage.
Membership is from across England. All members have lived experience of disadvantage and are passionate about giving people a voice in key decisions made about their lives.

Our Aims

Influence the system (e.g. national and local government, charities and voluntary sector) to adopt a trauma-informed and holistic approach to working alongside people experiencing homelessness

Support, promote and inspire co-production in national and local policy decision making around homelessness

Our Ask

We have an opportunity to end homelessness for good. If we do not get right, we may be able to house people in the short term, but it will not be sustainable. To make sure it’s sustainable, we need to ensure that people have access not just to a house, but to a home. So we are calling for three things:

1. Give People a Voice

  • For far too long decisions have been made without the views of individuals
  • [Although many services/local authorities will state they are involving service users, in reality they are just ticking boxes.]
  • People’s views to their home must be central.
  • Peoples views (wishes) must be respected, heard and acknowledged.
  • People need to be empowered to have an active role (be equal partners?) in the decisions made around their own lives.
  • Improving self-esteem and confidence.

2. Give People a Choice

  • There are many choices. Choices about location, tenure and type. Choices about engagement with support.
  • But people have these choices taken away from them. (Or given choice between rough sleeping and an unsuitable offer.) Without choice people are disempowered.
  • People need transparent, realistic, suitable choices, with no conditions on housing.
    “Something that’s safe near people you know”
  • This may need revising priority need and local connection policies, being treated lawfully with equal access to (social) housing, realistic plans.

3. Realise Peoples Aspirations.

  • People have been de-humanised. People have been labelled.
  • But we are humans with skills, assets and aspirations.
  • We need to look at the talents and aspirations we have.

Latest Influencing

Expert Link stands with other charities in their call to reverse the decision to cut Universal Credit and to freeze Local Housing Allowance. Without action, many people, in particular families, could fast become homeless.

Read full statement here

The National Advisory Panel recently submitted evidence to the Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping.

Read our Response here

Our Reports

February 2021

Vaccine roll-out, experiences of people begging, experiences of staff in homelessness and related services

Read Report

3 December 2020

Deficit-based services, employment opportunities for people with lived experience of disadvantage.

Read Report

19 November 2020

Lockdown, winter provision, derogation, bankruptcy

Read Report

15 October 2020

Winter provision

Read Report

1 October 2020

Service User Feedback

Read Report

17 September 2020

Access to benefits

Read Report

27 August 2020

Ban on evictions

Read Report

13 August 2020

Street Counts

Read Report

30 July 2020

Next Steps Accommodation Programme

Read Report

16 July 2020

Issues relating to drug treatment services and what needs to change

Read Report

2 July 2020

Accommodation and support provision and the changes needed

Read Report

18 June 2020

Suitability of offer, future plans, negative attitudes...

Read Report

4 June 2020

Rising rough sleeping, relations with the police, mental health challenges...

Read Report

28 May 2020

Uncertainty, working practices, track and trace...

Read Report

21 May 2020

Accessing support, uncertainty, future support...

Read Report

7 May 2020

Negative treatment, potential conditionality, increase in presentations...

Read Report

30 April 2020

Current practice, future options, transitional arrangements...

Read Report

23 April 2020

Access to food, drugs and support, social distancing, positive approaches...

Read Report

16 April 2020

People not accepting offers, flexibility, rapid prescribing...

Read Report

9 April 2020

Accommodation, substance misuse, police responses...

Read Report