Dr Emma Bimpson and Dr Kesia Reeve discuss the unique and profound challenges that COVID-19 is likely to pose to mothers experiencing homelessness. Last year we completed a research study exploring the experiences of homeless mothers for the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) and Sheffield Hallam University. Now that we are all adjusting to a life spent entirely at ‘home’ we have had cause to think about the mothers who participated in that research. It is difficult to imagine what the domestic circumstances described by those women – in the lead up to their homelessness and then afterwards – would look like in the context of COVID-19.
A spectre is haunting Britain, not the spectre of communism, and yet the UK's most significant current challenges, from Brexit to austerity, from zero-hour contracts to changes in life expectancy, are all haunted by questions of social class and classes.
Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) hit the headlines in May 2018 when the Guardian reported that hundreds of homeless people in England and Wales are being fined and imprisoned. PSPOs give local councils the powers to prohibit or require certain behaviours to take place within a defined geographical location
The UK is a facing a housing crisis. Whichever party wins the election will be confronted by numerous problems including: a lack of affordable housing in many of parts of the country; the challenges associated with housing an ageing population; a housing stock which is showing signs of obsolescence and fatigue; a highly unregulated and unchecked private rental sector; the challenge of ensuring that younger households are able to access affordable; high quality housing and home ownership; and, increasing levels of homelessness and rough sleeping.
CaCHE will launch on 1 August 2017 for five years and will receive £6 million of funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), with support from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). A further £1.5m of funding will come from the consortium itself.