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Governing homelessness: A case study of local welfare state transformation

Bimpson, Emma Elizabeth (2018) Governing homelessness: A case study of local welfare state transformation. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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EBimpson. Thesis with approved corrections for 5 yr embargo. Governing homelessness 2018 FINAL for submission.pdf - Final eThesis - complete (pdf)
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Abstract

This thesis examines transformations in housing and homelessness provision by exploring processes of welfare restructuring that are broadly attributed to neoliberalism. Specifically, the interplay between programmes of localism, austerity and marketisation is examined to understand how homelessness and housing need is governed as a welfare issue in England. Post-2010 Coalition and Conservative-led welfare reforms have targeted both social and private renters by restricting eligibility for housing and wider welfare benefits. In addition, the withdrawal of state subsidy for social and supported housing, a decoupling of housing from wider social support services, and an increasing turn towards the private rented sector as a means to fulfil local housing duties has further reduced the security and affordability of housing. A city-based case study situated in Leeds explores the collective and independent contribution of public, private and Third Sector actors who commission and deliver housing and related support services. The case study accounts for a specific housing market and socio-spatial context, as well as reflecting systems of homelessness prevention and relief available for adults in other cities across England. This thesis makes an original contribution by highlighting the nuance, contingency and conflict that exists within local welfare restructuring. Interviews demonstrate how access to social and private housing has been reframed in line with economic rationalities, as state-led processes of austerity and financialisation take effect. Findings reveal the production of marginalisation and precarity as the subjects of welfare are excluded from housing on the basis of economic risk, and highlight particular governmental ideals of citizenship and resilience. However, the case study also shows how austerity is negotiated as well as becoming affective through the agency of individuals, as landlords and support providers interpret social responsibility in varied ways. Crucially, this research also highlights the importance of broader shifts in social care which go beyond ideological and economic reform, and which concern philosophical debates about the governance of vulnerability.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Depositing User: Miss Emma Elizabeth Bimpson
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2018 12:37
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2020 08:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22246

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