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Interconnecting rurality and homelessness: evidence from local authority homelessness officers in England and Wales

Cloke, Paul, Milbourne, Paul and Widdowfield, Rebekah 2001. Interconnecting rurality and homelessness: evidence from local authority homelessness officers in England and Wales. Journal of Rural Studies 17 (1) , pp. 99-111. 10.1016/S0743-0167(00)00029-2

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Abstract

This paper investigates the discursive and practical policy issues relating to homelessness in rural areas of England and Wales. It begins with the argument that such homelessness does represent a significant but under-emphasised problem in rural areas. Official government counting of rural homelessness itself underestimates the scale of the problem, but provides a starting point for an understanding of more hidden forms of homelessness. We suggest a number of ways in which rural homelessness is less visible than its well-publicised urban counterpart, relating to the morphology of rural areas, social-cultural constructs of idyll-ic rural living, and conceptual assumptions which render homelessness as out-of-place in purified rural spaces. We then report on findings from a survey of local authority homelessness officers in England and Wales and in-depth interviews with officers in the counties of Somerset and Gloucestershire. Seeing the issues through the eyes of these practitioners clarifies a number of strands of the invisibility of rural homelessness, and points to very significant interconnections between ‘housing’ and ‘homelessness’ discourses in the local rural policy process.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
ISSN: 0743-0167
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:09
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/35791

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