The production of homelessness in Britain: policies and processes

Patricia Kennett

in Comparing social policies

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2003 | ISBN: 9781861343666
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301967 | DOI:
The production of homelessness in Britain: policies and processes

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  • Comparative and Historical Sociology


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Homelessness represents one of the most acute forms of social and housing exclusion in Europe today. In both a national and European context, there has been increasing recognition that a growing number of people are finding themselves in an increasingly hostile environment, particularly in relation to work, welfare and housing. This chapter begins by addressing some of the debates surrounding definitions of homelessness. Drawing on government statistics and recent research from the homelessness charity Shelter, the chapter looks at some of the pathways into and causes of homelessness. It concludes by focusing the discussion of homelessness within the context of broader structural factors: for example, changes in the economy, the labour market and a reorientation of the welfare state, which has given way to an increasingly polarised society in which poverty, unemployment and homelessness appear to have become accepted ‘facts of life’, reflecting a new sense in social policy.

Keywords: homelessness; poverty; social exclusion; housing exclusion; charity Shelter; social policy

Chapter.  6383 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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