It’s my great pleasure to announce our latest paper published with former BU student, Kelly Veasey, now undertaking her master’s in International Social Policy at the University of Kent and working part-time for Citizen’s Advice. It is published, Open Access, in the Journal of Humanities and Applied Social Sciences. (https://www.emerald.com/insight/2632-279X.htm).
The paper ‘Welfare conditionality, sanctions and homelessness: meanings made by homeless support workers’ is of great relevance in these days of continued austerity compounded by the pandemic. Based on Kelly’s undergraduate research, the open access paper explores homeless-support workers’ perceptions of homeless welfare recipients and their experiences of navigating new conditions placed upon them by UK welfare reform. It examines support workers’ views of the most punitive feature of the welfare system, sanctions, on those recipients. In 2012, the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition Government introduced the largest and most radical overhaul of the UK benefit system, significantly increasing the level of conditionality and sanctions for noncompliance, part of a shift in welfare, suggesting that rights must be balanced by responsibility and the “culture of worklessness” and “benefit dependency” should be addressed. We reviewed welfare reforms in the UK and the increased use of sanctions as part of welfare conditionality. Data were collected from eight semi-structured interviews taking place in five housing support groups in the South East and South West of England in 2019–2020. Findings from our study indicate that the government’s reforms serve as a disciplinary measure for the poor, reinforcing inequality and social marginalization. To mitigate the effects would require a comprehensive review of universal credit prior to its full rollout to claimants. While welfare conditionality, welfare reform and homeless are well-researched in the UK, this paper fills a gap in research concerning the experiences of those working in housing support agencies working with homeless people in the UK.
The full text is accessible by following this link DOI 10.1108/JHASS-12-2020-0213.