When is it right to buy: an instrumental case study of 'out of area' rehousing for families in temporary accommodation and implications for social work

Conference paper


Odell, T. and Melville-Wiseman, J. 2018. When is it right to buy: an instrumental case study of 'out of area' rehousing for families in temporary accommodation and implications for social work.
AuthorsOdell, T. and Melville-Wiseman, J.
TypeConference paper
Description

Abstract for presentation JSWEC conference 2018: Grand Challenges for Social Work
Timothy Odell and Dr Janet Melville – Wiseman
Canterbury Christ Church University

Title – When is it right to buy? An instrumental case study of 'Out of Borough' rehousing for families in temporary accommodation and implications for social work.

Gentrification and affordability of housing in UK and global metropolitan areas raises issues of equality and segregation of social housing tenants, foregrounded by the recent Grenfell Tower disaster. Government policies such as Right to Buy have resulted in a reduction in the amount of social housing, created long waiting lists, and necessitated long stays for families in temporary accommodation (TA) while waiting for permanent housing. Many local authorities struggle to meet the need for TA, and increasingly are adopting a strategy of buying less expensive housing sites 'out of borough.' (LGA, 2017). Families in TA may therefore have little choice about moving miles away from informal and formal social supports.

In the south of England, a large housing site in one local authority was bought by another local authority for use as 'Out of Borough' TA. Two councils bid against each other for the rights to the site. The authority where the site is located was outbid, creating a situation where one ‘sending borough’ (SB) re-located a number of families eligible for social housing in TA to another 'receiving borough' (RB). The RB then becomes responsible for the health and social care needs of the incoming residents.

The current research examines the impact of this phenomenon on the RB and the community in which the site is located. An instrumental case study methodology is used to examine various perspectives on this phenomenon to increase understanding of the fine grain detail SB-RB scenario, and generate wider understanding of the issue. Purposive sampling was used to identify key stakeholders. Data were double coded, analysed and organised thematically (Attride-Stirling, 2001).

Two relevant theoretical approaches are applied – Social Geography and complexity theory. The former assists in understanding issues related to space, place, and resources (Massey, 1995). The latter refers to the organisation of complex adaptive systems (Johnson, 2014) and 'attractors' which influence them.

Arising Global themes include: Integration and social relationships; Social work services and community support; and Policy and market influences. Areas of convergence and divergence are discussed. Suggestions are made for practice which can act as 'attractors' to support positive outcomes in SB-RB complex systems.

References
Allen, J and Massey, D (1995) Geographical Worlds, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Attride-Stirling, J (2001) 'Thematic networks: an analytic tool for qualitative research' Qualitative Research, 1:3, 385-405
LGA (2017) Council Innovation and Learning in Housing Our Homeless Households, London: Local Government Association
Johnson, N (2007) Simply Complexity, Oxford: Oneworld Publications

Year2018
ConferenceJoint Social Work Education and Research conference: Grand Challenges for Social Work
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Oct 2018
Completed04 Sep 2018
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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