The size of Britain's homeless population has risen considerably since the introduction of the Housing (Homeless) Persons Act 1977. Recently, the Government announced plans to radically reform the existing legislation, a move which recognizes the political sensitivity of homelessness, and the need for a more coherent policy to tackle the problems.
Housing the homeless is an issue which embraces housing, family, and social security policy; it also generates considerable interest for public lawyers, as the Act provides for wide-ranging discretion and it has provoked a great deal of litigation in recent years.
In this highly original and timely study the author presents a detailed empirical study of the implementation of the homelessness legislation by three local authorities. His study focuses in particular on the processes of administrative decision-making at the lowest levels, and reveals that 'law' plays an extremely limited role in shaping administrative policy decisions.
Placing administrative law within a context of administrative action, this book illustrates how the effectiveness of administrative laws can only be fully understood by reference to the complex institutional structures with which they are daily involved.
`'he has provided an interesting contextual study of a neglected area of administrative law on which he is to be congratulated.''
`'a challenging and valuable contribution to the understanding of administrative law and practice...It is an intelligent work which will be of great interest to socio-legal scholars generally and to those concerned with administrative law in particular.''