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Title: Bringing home the housing crisis : domicide and precarity in Inner London
Author: Nowicki, Melanie
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 9981
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis explores the impact of United Kingdom Coalition/Conservative government housing policies on inner London's low-income residents. It focuses specifically on the bedroom tax (a social housing reform introduced in 2013) and the criminalisation of squatting in a residential building (introduced in 2012) as case studies. These link to, and contribute towards, three main areas of scholarly and policy interest. First is the changing nature of welfare in the UK, and the relationship between social disadvantage and policy rhetoric in shaping public attitudes towards squatters and social tenants. Second, the thesis initiates better understanding of what impact the policies have made on the homelives of squatters and social tenants, and on housing segregation and affordability more broadly. Third, it highlights the multifaceted ways in which different squatters and social tenants protest and resist the two policies. Methodologically, the thesis is based on in-depth semi-structured interviews with squatters, social tenants affected by the bedroom tax, and multiple stakeholders, including housing association employees, housing solicitors and local councillors. Critical discourse analysis was also employed in order to analyse rhetoric surrounding the two policies. This involved the analysis of political speeches and news articles. Conceptually, the thesis argues for the centrality of critical geographies of home in its analysis and does so through the concepts of domicide, home unmaking, and precarity in order to understand the home as a complex and fluid part of both the lifecourse and wider social politics. The thesis concludes by arguing that the two policies are ultimately class-based ideological moralisations of the home, rather than necessary pragmatic decisions based on a need for austerity. This is particularly prevalent in the context of a nowubiquitous understanding of London's housing market as 'in crisis'. I argue that precarious housing circumstances are not unavoidable conditions of austerity, or that austerity itself is inevitable. Rather, precarity is ideologically enforced on particular groups of citizens on the basis that they are less deserving of home.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: housing ; precarity ; Social justice ; home ; domicide