The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 has come into force trumpeting nothing less than the need for a ‘culture change’ among local housing authorities implementing it. Although it aims to reduce homelessness, it is more likely to hide long-term systemic issues in the housing system. It is argued that the 2017 Act’s significant alterations are likely to result in a re-ordering of the deckchairs on the Titanic of housing policy. Following a biography and critique of the homelessness legislation as being out of time and place, as well as a discussion of the 2017 Act itself, three central points are made: the 2017 Act has ushered in a form of neo-liberal government of the homeless; the understanding of the household seeking assistance has fundamentally altered, from passive applicant to active citizen; the private rented market provides the sole mechanism for performing the duties but remains problematic.
- local government