The UK government recently pledged to ‘end homelessness’ by 2027. But has such a strategy ever been attempted before and, given the success of historical examples, is it even possible? Writing for History Extra, Nicholas Crowson considers the question, tracing the history of homelessness in Britain from the Victorian era to the present day, exploring how people without homes have been grouped and treated.
Teresa May’s government recently pledged itself to eradicate rough sleeping by 2027. This came as part of a new Rough Sleepers Strategy, with a spending allocation of £100m, in which a coalition of government, local councils and homelessness charities will collaborate to address issues relating to access to housing, hostel provision and mental health.
Setting aside criticisms that have been directed towards the policy (that there is no new money or that the policies are essentially a repackaging of previously announced initiatives), history suggests there is good reason to be sceptical about the prospects for success.
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