This book discusses homelessness policy in the UK from 1945 to 2019. It identifies five key factors that have driven policy: the favoured explanations for homelessness, distinctions between different groups of homeless people, demand for social rented housing, geographical differences and the forms of prevention preferred by policy makers. The account analyses how these factors have influenced key pieces of legislation such as the 1948 National Assistance Act, the 1977 Housing (Homeless Persons) Act and the 2002 Homelessness Act. It also identifies the key issues that policy has sought to address at different times, including children being taken into care because of their parents’ homelessness, rough sleeping, the use of bed and breakfast hotels as temporary accommodation, social exclusion and welfare reform. In addition to published sources and archival material, the book draws on the experiences of two former Ministers and other key figures in the development of homelessness policy.
Jamie Harding is Senior Lecturer in Research Methods at Northumbria University, UK. He worked previously in social housing and has published articles on the subject of homelessness in a range of journals, including Housing Studies, Local Government Studies, Social Problems and Social Policy, and Probation Journal.