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Housing rights, homelessness prevention and a paradox of bureaucracy?

Browne Gott, Hannah, Mackie, Peter K. ORCID: and England, Edith 2023. Housing rights, homelessness prevention and a paradox of bureaucracy? Housing Studies 38 (2) , pp. 250-268. 10.1080/02673037.2021.1880000

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In most nations homelessness remains a major injustice. A key response in Wales has been the introduction of a pioneering justiciable right to homelessness prevention and relief assistance. This paper explores the complexities of the new welfare bureaucracy this has created. We explore whether these housing rights invoke a paradox, whereby the positive impacts for citizens are accompanied by distancing and exclusion. The study reveals both a faceless bureaucracy characterised by processes of silencing and subordination propped up by tools of exclusion, particularly impenetrable paperwork, but also a system that can work to grant housing rights to those in need of support. There is no evidence for an utterly ‘faceless tyrant’ of a bureaucratic system, due to the often-inclusive ways that frontline staff operate, frequently at the margins of the law (Arendt 1970). Thus, this paper draws attention to the complexities inherent in a rights-based homelessness system and the paradoxical nature of attempting to grant housing rights.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0267-3037
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 January 2021
Date of Acceptance: 13 January 2021
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 21:35

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