Homelessness in Great Britain: Taking the long view
5 February 2016
Fifty year anniversary event to take the long view on homelessness in Great Britain.
An anniversary event to mark a shared milestone for Cardiff University and Shelter will explore the future challenges of homelessness.
In 1966 Shelter was founded to speak for the millions of ‘hidden homeless’ people in the UK. In the same year the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University was created and made housing and homelessness a key research priority with academics working collaboratively with Shelter and Shelter Cymru to bring about positive changes for homeless people.
The event will look at these issues, asking if the UK's unique homelessness safety net is still fit for purpose. Can it withstand the current onslaught from austerity cuts and welfare reform? And is Wales leading the way for the rest of Great Britain with a new legislative framework focused on prevention and flexible solutions for all households facing homelessness?
The School of Geography and Planning has contributed to these policy developments, not least in Wales, within the wider context of research on social and economic welfare.
Professor Kevin Morgan said: “For five decades colleagues in the School of Geography and Planning have contributed to debates on social and economic welfare, working closely with policy makers and third sector partners to ensure our research effectively informs their policies and practices.
“Most recently, Dr Mackie’s work has shaped the Housing (Wales) Act, leading to far better outcomes for homeless people in Wales. This event gives us an opportunity to stop and reflect on what has been achieved and to identify the remaining grand challenges relating to homelessness in the UK and beyond.”
Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said: “Thankfully the slums of 1966 are gone, but sadly, despite the progress we’ve made over the years, a housing crisis is once again gripping this country.
“Fewer houses are being built, tens of thousands of homeless families are living in temporary accommodation, house prices continue to rise pushing more people in private renting, and conditions in many rented homes are as bad as we’ve seen in decades.
“These are just some of the consequences of failure by successive governments to address the root cause of these problems, by building more genuinely affordable homes and providing adequate support for those who fall on hard times.
“In Shelter’s 50th year our services will continue to be there to help anyone who needs us, and we will continue our fight to end bad housing and homelessness for good. We won’t stop until everyone has a safe, secure and affordable place to call home.”
The event will also include a photographic exhibition of street homelessness across the globe entitled ‘global portraits of homelessness’ by world-renowned and Cardiff-born photographer Andrew McNeill.
Homelessness in Britain: Taking the Long View takes place at the University on 9th February 2016 and celebrates the 50th anniversary of the University’s School of Geography and Planning and the establishment of Shelter.