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51 THREE Understanding disability: from ‘personal tragedy’ to social disadvantage There has been a shift in thinking about what constitutes ‘disability’ in recent years, from restriction arising through individual functioning and based on medical interpretations, to that which is caused by social, environmental and cultural barriers. This transition from an individual or ‘medical model’ interpretation of disability to a socio-political approach has been crucial for highlighting the constraints that disabled people encounter every day of their lives, and

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113 FIVE Disability and housing This chapter comments on housing circumstances for disabled people, considers market and non-market provision, discusses universal and inclusive standards, and concludes with observations about change, citizenship and self-management. First, however, we position ourselves in relation to general debates about disabling environments, and emphasise the importance of disabled people’s ideas and campaigns. Disability is understood below as something resulting from persistent devaluing of people with impairments, their exclusion from

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113 SEVEN Housing and disability: a 21st-century phenomenon Conventional accounts of housing careers and even housing pathways present, in some ways, a monochromatic view of households and the housing they occupy. The concept of a housing career holds cogency for young, middle-class household members of Anglo-Celtic backgrounds born in the 1950s, but sheds little light on the more complex realities of households in the 21st century. One of the areas where this gap is most acute is in our understanding of the relationship between disability, households and

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Innovative approaches

The housing problems of older people in our society are highly topical because of the growing number of retired people in the population and, especially, the yet-to-come increasing number of ‘very old’ people. Government policies on the care of older people have been forthcoming from Whitehall, but the issue of housing is just beginning to be seriously addressed.

This book represents a first attempt at bringing together people from the worlds of architecture, social science and housing studies to look at the future of living environments for an ageing society. Projecting thinking into the future, it asks critical questions and attempts to provide some of the answers. It uniquely moves beyond the issues of accommodation and care to look at the wider picture of how housing can reflect the social inclusion of people as they age.

Inclusive housing in an ageing society will appeal to a wide audience - housing, health and social care workers including: housing officers, architects, planners and designers, community regeneration workers, care managers, social workers and social care assistants, registered managers and housing providers, health improvement staff and, of course, current and future generations of older people.

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A pathways approach
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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.

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Visions of housing futures

Despite the improved supply and quality of housing in the UK and Europe over the last 60 years, the future of housing remains uncertain. Will the supply of new housing meet demand? Is decent, affordable housing an achievable goal? How far will governments seek to shape the market? How will they respond to demographic pressures in different parts of the country? Will housing wealth become a central issue in wider debates about the future of public services?

This book looks at the big questions affecting the future of housing as a key indicator of social and economic well-being in the 21st century. It brings together specially commissioned contributions by leading housing experts who explore a wide range of themes and issues affecting the prospects for the coming 20 years or more. Drawing on the evidence of the past and present they analyse the implications of current trends to consider how markets and governments might respond to the challenges ahead. The book is not a work of prophecy or a manifesto for action. It is designed to stimulate and contribute to informed debate about possible futures and what can be done to influence what happens.

"Building on the past" will be of interest to all those concerned about the future of housing, neighbourhoods and communities over the next 20 years.

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New challenges and good practice
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Housing associations are central to the government’s strategy to improve social housing yet have no direct statutory responsibility for rehousing homeless people. This study critically examines the role of housing associations in responding to the needs of women who have become homeless due to domestic violence.

Housing associations - rehousing women leaving domestic violence will fill a gap in the literature for academic staff and students interested in housing studies, social policy, sociology, women’s studies, political studies and organisation/management studies; provide valuable guidance to staff in housing associations and local authorities working in “general needs" housing, supported housing and homeless services; and provide policy makers with a useful introduction to key issues.

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Housing policy into the new millennium
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While the future shape and direction of housing policy is uncertain, the process of transformation looks set to continue. A wide range of housing policy initiatives emerged during the first term of the New Labour government and 2000 saw the publication of the first major policy statement on housing for over 10 years - the government’s much anticipated Housing Green Paper.

This book makes a distinctive and innovative contribution to the debate. Bringing together leading scholars from the fields of housing law and housing policy, it aims to engage with the central concerns of policy and to demonstrate that the parallel debates of housing studies and socio-legal studies can be strengthened by a fuller exchange of ideas.

Each chapter examines a key theme in contemporary housing policy and seeks to locate policy in relation to broader theoretical debates about the provision of social welfare.

Two steps forward is essential reading for academics, students and policy makers with an interest in housing policy and law, as well as students on wider social policy, public administration, policy and management courses.

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Transforming multi-storey housing
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Estates of multi-storey housing present some of the most intractable problems for urban policy. Many attempts to deal with these problems have either failed or presented poor value for money.

Shelter is not enough is an up-to-date evaluation of the issues. It traces the development of multi-storey housing in Britain from its early beginnings, to the period from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s when most of the contemporary legacy of estates was built. The problems in use are examined as are the responses of the authorities faced with mounting technical and social difficulties. Drawing on an analysis of past practice, a ‘model framework’ is defined which can help to create successful approaches for the regeneration of multi-storey housing.

From the experience of the development of multi-storey housing in Britain, its problems and attempted solutions, implications are drawn for public policy, and a strategic approach is outlined which can reform the estates and reintegrate them into the mainstream urban environment. Finally, the British experience is placed in a broader context - the parallel problems surrounding multi-storey estates in Europe, and the contribution transformed multi-storey estates might make in creating more sustainable cities in the millennium.

This book provides valuable information for all those involved in urban regeneration - academics and students of housing, architecture and urban studies; development officers, designers and others working in the practice of estate regeneration.

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A social analysis of mortgage arrears and possessions

In Britain in the 1990s households containing almost 1.4 million adults and children had their mortgaged home possessed. A far greater number experienced serious mortgage arrears but managed to avoid possession. The emergence of such levels of unsustainable home ownership has consequences for many areas of social and public policy, including: the economy; public health; social security reform; and family policy.

This book argues that the emergence of unsustainable owner-occupation is emblematic of broader changes in contemporary society associated with the emergence of what commentators such as Beck and Giddens have characterised as a ‘risk society’.

Home ownership in a risk society: provides the first systematic overview of the meaning and implications of a body of research work that has hitherto remained largely fragmented; argues that the particular conjunction of events which generated the short-term housing crisis of the early 1990s masked a series of more enduring structural changes which have resulted in unsustainable home ownership becoming a more permanent part of the British socio-economic landscape; uses a wide range of methodological strategies - including in-depth qualitative interviews with adults and children, survey analysis, and the multivariate statistical analysis of large-scale data sets; paints a rich and detailed empirical picture of the causes, socio-economic distribution and social consequences of mortgage arrears and possessions.

This broad-ranging book is aimed at students, researchers, policy makers and practitioners with an interest in social policy, sociology, human geography, urban studies, housing studies, public health, economics and finance.

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