Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2011): Homelessness - UK

Chaotic lives underlie troubles of homeless

T. Hume

The Independent, Sept. 12th 2011, p. 16

Understanding Complex Lives is a survey of 1,286 homeless people by the Economic and Social Research Council, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Homeless Link, and the Tenant Services Authority. It found that nearly half of those surveyed had spent time in institutions, had substance-dependence problems or had been involved in 'street activities', such as begging, prostitution, or shoplifting. Publication of the results followed reports by the Independent that homelessness had risen by 17 per cent in Britain in 2010/11 after years of decline. The charities that produced the report will begin a campaign to demand that politicians take action. The author of the report, Theresa McDonagh, said that there is a need for professionals in social work, housing, and health to cooperate more effectively to prevent the slide into homelessness. May homeless people will have had contact with one or more agencies before becoming homeless. The report also highlighted the need for support for housing agency staff, who might feel 'out of their depth' in dealing with the issues on their own.

On the streets and refusing help

V. Hart, C. Barcham and C. Russell

Community Care, Sept. 15th 2011, p. 22-24

A group of women who sleep rough in London refuse help, seeing homelessness as a valid lifestyle choice. They do not abuse drugs or alcohol but may have undiagnosed mental health issues. Three experts from the College of Social Work give their views on how public services should respond to two such cases.

The use of mediation in preventing homelessness in England

P. Ng

International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, vol. 3, 2011, p. 146-158 The UK government has encouraged a preventative approach to homelessness since the implementation of the Homelessness Act 2002. Mediation is used by many local authorities as a tool for prevention of homelessness, particularly when parents, relatives or friends are at the point of evicting a young person. At the same time, local authorities have a statutory duty to provide emergency accommodation for eligible homeless people in priority need. This paper explores the appropriateness of mediation as a homelessness prevention tool for statutorily homeless people who are eligible for local authority emergency housing assistance and who are in crisis.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web