Policing the housing crisis

H Carr, DS Cowan, C Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we argue that the ‘crime control housing crisis’ which has engulfed social housing is qualitatively different from most previous and current understandings of housing crisis (which have been of a quantita tive nature, or been resolved to that). By contrast, the crime control housing crisis is a crisis precisely because it appears insoluble. All hous ing problems and policies now have to be legitimated by reference to this crime control housing crisis. The gaze of this crisis has been upon the ‘social’ sector, but that has also caused reflection on how to placate the crime control housing crisis in the private sector. It is this latter area that is the focus of the case study in the second part of this paper and starkly raises the central, deceptively simple, problematization for government: how to govern the ungovernable without being seen to govern. The case study concerns regulations promulgated by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive regarding the licensing of houses in multiple occupation. We argue that this regulation is symptomatic of a mutated ‘housing crisis’ in which the old questions of the adequacy of provision have been supplanted by new questions of responsibility for deviant behaviour.
Translated title of the contributionPolicing the housing crisis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100 - 127
Number of pages27
JournalCritical Social Policy
Volume27 (1)
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Sage


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