Emma Bimpson

Emma Bimpson


My PhD research explores transformations in housing and homelessness provision through a city-based case study of local welfare providers. By accounting for the collective contribution of public, private and third sector actors, this research examines the interplay between austerity and marketisation that underpins welfare restructuring. This research is situated within the political economy of housing, governance studies and also wider philosophical debates about the function of welfare.

What makes me passionate about my subject?

My research builds on my experience as a housing practitioner, in frontline social housing services, tenant engagement, research and strategic development. During this time I completed an MA in Social Research culminating in a study of the relationship between financial and digital exclusion, ethnicity and gender. It was my involvement in research and strategic debates about the impact of welfare reform for social housing that inspired me to develop these questions as part of an ESRC funded PhD research.

I have developed my interest in housing, homelessness and third sector governance through two Leeds Social Science Institute postgraduate research scholarships, the first exploring charity mergers and most recently through an evaluation of a Housing First project for sex working women in Leeds. 

My broad areas of interest are:

  • Homelessness
  • Social and private rented housing
  • Local and urban governance
  • Vulnerability and the ethics of social welfare


Teaching throughout the course of my PhD follows my interests in social welfare policy and practice, and includes level 1 and 2 modules which applied perspectives in sociology and criminology to contemporary debates in social policy. I have given lectures on the subject of housing, welfare and urban governance.