The ‘housing issue’, the ‘housing question’, the ‘housing problem’: these terms and many more are bandied around freely by the providers of housing—central government, local authorities and housing associations—and campaigners for improvements and reform alike. They indicate, perhaps, only one thing: that despite all the concern and all the promises of recent years—and haven’t there been plenty of both of those?—there still is a housing issue/question/problem. Certainly the mere fact that everybody uses the same terms should not be taken as any indication that there is a unity of view about the solutions needed or, less ambitiously, about the paths towards those solutions. Indeed, it is easy to get the impression—and many of the homeless people that I have been in contact with certainly have it—that the most important thing to many people is that they prove that their solutions are right.
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