Elaborate on and discuss questions related to social and economic conditions in some English-speaking countries

The homelessness crisis in England: a perfect storm

What causes homelessness?

Sadly, many people view homelessness as the result of personal failings, and consider that if the economy is going well, there is no excuse for not getting on.

But this belief is belied by the facts, which show that homelessness is caused by a complex interplay between a person’s individual circumstances and adverse ‘structural’ factors outside their direct control.

These problems can build up over years until the final crisis moment when a person becomes homeless. Souce: Shelter 

Last year, 112,070 people declared themselves homeless in England – a 26% increase in four years. At the same time, the number of people sleeping rough in London grew by 75% to a staggering 6,437. Why? A £7bn cut in housing benefit, welfare reforms and a huge lack of affordable housing. Source, the Guardian

Lesson plan

Discuss the difference between the points listed here and why this is happening today.

“We are witnessing,” says Morphy, “what amounts to a perfect storm: a combination of the shortage of affordable housing and government policies – welfare reforms and cuts in housing benefit – that are weakening the housing safety net for those who are in greatest need. It’s a grim picture, and it will get worse before it gets better.”

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