For vulnerable older, disabled or homeless people who need accommodation and support, many different forms of housing have developed – whether hostels, group homes, extra-care housing or retirement villages. But do these settings effectively improve the well-being of those who live in them? This important book explores the impact of different forms of policy and practice on the lives of vulnerable people, arguing for a flexible policy approach that places people in control of their own lives. It puts forward an original evaluation framework and applies this to case studies of provision in Britain and Sweden – two countries with long and differing experiences – to raise interesting and important issues for the future. The book will be a valuable resource for those working in and devising policy for supported housing as well as students on urban studies and planning courses and those studying health and social care subjects who wish to better understand the nature of supported housing.
Rejecting the assumption that housing and cities are separate from nature, David Clapham advances a new research framework that integrates housing with the rest of the natural world. Demonstrating the wider context of human lives and the impact of housing on the non-human environment, the author considers the impact of current inhabitation practices on climate change and biodiversity.
Showcasing the significant contribution that housing policy can make in mitigating environmental problems, this book will stimulate debate amongst housing researchers and policy makers.
This book offers a fresh new approach to the study of housing. It explores the meaning that housing has for individuals and households by examining ‘housing pathways’.
Housing pathways refer to the varying household forms that individuals experience and the housing routes that they take over time. The book argues that housing has increasingly become a means to an end rather than an end in itself. The end is personal fulfilment and the main task of housing research is to elucidate the links. In this pursuit, the concepts of identity and lifestyle are key.
Specifically, the book examines the structure and functioning of households and links this to changing discourses of the family; explores the important interconnections between housing and employment; considers the relationship between people and the physical aspects of a house and its location; looks at housing in terms of lifestyle choice from youth to old age and discusses the implications of the pathways approach for housing policy and future research in the field.
The meaning of housing is recommended to anyone researching and studying housing and particularly to those wishing to engage with the new research agenda set out here.
This article examines one of the criticisms of local authority corporate planning which is that it is ill-suited to the local political process. The examination is in three parts. Firstly the corporate planning literature is reviewed to see what view of politics it reveals. Secondly an ideal corporate planning process based on the concept of rationality is compared with a political process which is made up of differences in perspective based on consumption cleavages. Thirdly the interaction of these two processes is examined by looking at the experience of corporate planning in two local authorities. The conclusion is that the criticism is a fair one and that in consequence local authority planning processes will in future be more closely integrated with the political system.
The literature on the meaning of home emphasises the security, positive meaning and self-esteem that home generates. However, housing policy has traditionally viewed houses as units of accommodation rather than homes. This article tackles the question of whether it is possible to devise a housing policy that aims at improving the self-esteem and positive identity of residents. The article reviews the growing literature stressing the importance of seeking to promote happiness or well-being as the primary objective of government policy and concludes with an evaluation of the potential for the application of these ideas to housing policy.
Chapter one sets the context for the rest of the book by describing the main similarities and differences in forms of supported housing. First it examines the definition of support and looks at the many different kinds of accommodation and support that can be provided and their objectives. The chapter then focuses on the different models of supported housing by identifying the diverse ways in which different forms of accommodation can be mixed with various forms of support. A number of models are identified and they are described and some general issues that influence their impact are identified. This discussion is intended to set the scene for the more detailed discussion of supported housing models for particular ‘categories’ of people in the following chapters.
Chapter 2 reviews the philosophies, concepts and discourses that underpin provision and form the basis for the evaluation of its impact. Discourses are situated in particular social and political settings and so the chapter begins with a discussion of the nature of post-modern societies with an emphasis on diversity, identity and lifestyle. The focus then shifts to the discourses that have shaped supported housing. Most emphasis here is placed on the discourse of well-being which forms the basis of the evaluation framework used in the book. The history of the well-being discourse is described and the underlying rationales for the discourse assessed. It is argued that the discourse is of most use if the psychological concepts that underpin it are uncovered and operationalized. The main concepts of personal control, identity and self-esteem and social relations are described and applied to the situation of supported housing. The final part of the chapter examines the way that the discourses and concepts have been used to assess the outcomes of supported housing, either through inspection by regulatory agencies or through performance measurement regimes.
In chapter three the research on the relationship between people and their houses and homes is reviewed. It is clear that our homes mean much to us and are an important symbol of our identity and enable us to live our preferred lifestyle. However, there is a distinction in thinking about homes between the social and the physical dimensions. Homes do carry important meanings for us, but they are also the physical locale of many of our daily activities. The chapter puts forward a perspective based on the concept of ‘affordances’ to provide a holistic analysis that includes both the physical and meaning elements of a house.
The same ‘affordances’ approach is used to analyse the relationship between people and their neighbourhoods. Again the theme is the need to integrate analysis of the physical attributes of a neighbourhood (for example its amenities and accessibility) with its meaning elements such as the potential for a feeling of belonging and attachment. A key element of the discussion in this chapter is the important issue of segregation. The key question to be posed is whether vulnerable people’s well-being is improved by living in a balanced community or in a segregated one. The chapter argues that there is no universal answer to this question as it depends on individual preferences, situations and lifestyles. The chapter concludes by bringing together the discussions of well-being, and the locales of home and neighbourhood to form a framework that will be used in the rest of the book to evaluate the outcomes of supported housing.
Chapter five begins the examination of particular supported housing models by explaining the focus of the book on two particular countries. It explains the reasons for choosing an international comparative approach and justifies the choice of Britain and Sweden as the two countries studied here. Reference is made to the welfare regimes approach that seeks to identify and explain the differences in welfare expenditures and policies between countries. A description is made of the main support and housing policies in the two countries. There are many similarities in support policies, although Britain has gone further in the directions of marketisation and personalisation. In housing, both systems are ‘monstrous hybrids’ with elements of market and state provision and regulation that often combine to create problems, such as low housing supply and inadequate accommodation, as well as unequal distribution and segregation, that can make life difficult for some vulnerable households.