Is Addressing and Alleviating Housing Need Part of Social Care Policy and Practice Essay

Housing is regarded as one of the prime requirements for an individual to live in this world. It is thus important for the individuals to avail housing facilities in order to fulfil their desired objectives. Providing care and availing housing facilities are often referred as social care services. In this context, social care services denote helping individuals by providing them with adequate support. Social care is required by people who are ill, need support and homeless as well as destitute. The basic needs of individuals are often ascertained as foods, clothes and secured accommodation, which is being considered by the social care workers. In the present day context, homelessness along with housing need is considered to be a social issue, which hampers the economic growth and stability of a country at large. The members of social care services provide affordable housing to people to secure their life and reduce health issues that lead towards the development of a healthy society (Department of Housing and Public Works, 2014).

In relation to the above context, the essay intends to determine whether addressing and alleviating housing need is a part of social care policy and practice with focus on evaluating evidences and providing valid justifications.


With the advent of globalisation, the lifestyle of people and economies of scale have changed by a considerable extent. The issue of homelessness and housing need is identified to s increase considerably that have been affecting the lives of the individuals and rising social issues. It will be vital to mention that in this present day context, the issue concerning homelessness must have ‘no place in the society’. Justifiably, homelessness is duly considered to be one of the social issues, which affects human civilisation and economy at large. It is observed in several countries that people live in the streets as they have no place for taking shelter. With reference to the census of 2011 in Queensland, UK, it was witnessed that about 19858 people lived in the streets as they were homeless (Department of Housing and Public Works, 2014).

The issue concerning homelessness resembles the fact that the people are unable to afford a house for themselves, which is mainly because of increasing unemployment. This in turn elevates the poverty level, which is recognised as a social issue and thus utmost attention is provided to eradicate the same. Therefore, in this context, it can be inferred that assisting people in terms of offering them with street based help or housing facility is regarded as a social care practice. In this regard, Croatia is such a country wherein homelessness and housing needs are considered to be a part of social care policy, as various initiatives are taken by the respective social groups of the nation towards reducing the issue of homelessness (Department of Housing and Public Works, 2014).

Prior to determining whether addressing along with alleviating housing need is a part of social care practice along with policy, it is important to understand the real meaning of homelessness for deriving better outcomes. In the western European countries, homelessness is regarded as a social issue. There are several countries that implemented various policies and programs to alleviate the problem of homelessness. It is such form of issue, which occurs due to various reasons hence, can be duly considered as a temporary issue at certain instances. Homelessness are of various forms and hence the debate whether it can be considered as a social issue or not is deemed to be persisted in broader context. According to Sostaric (2013), the issue of homelessness was entitled under the Social Welfare Act, 2012 depending of few aspects. People who were homeless were denied of various benefits before 2012, hence they are required to be provided with social rights and care for upliftment. Based on the above Act, homeless is defined as “A person without residence or means to address housing needs, temporarily living in a shelter or residing in public places unfit for habitation” (Sostaric, 2013). It is observed that several people who are homeless are above the age group of 50 years and also does not have jobs due to having shortage in education. It has been earlier mentioned that the issue concerning homelessness imposes negative impact on the health of individuals and also restricts societal development at large (Sostaric, 2013).

With the change in societal conditions, it can be apparently observed that the number of homelessness is persisted amidst the old age people having the age of about 65 years and above. The social welfare and practice in this context lay in providing shelter to these aged homeless people. The act of supporting the old individuals by providing them with shelter and care leads to the aspect of social care and policy. Furthermore, people who are disabled are also taken care by the social human rights activities by providing them financial support and addressing to their housing needs (Crown, 2010).

From the perspective of housing need members, it can be perceived that integrating housing with other social activities improves the developmental procedure of social care practices as well as policies. The provision of accommodating people though housing support is often viewed to be a social act. Conversely, providing emergency as well as temporary housing support to the individuals cannot be regarded as a social act or policy. However, providing hostel facility in terms of accommodation to women and children who are homeless due to the reason of domestic violence can be duly considered as an act of social care. This provision of social help from the local authorities is treated as a part of social care policy and practice depending on the situations. Contextually, law does not state any relevant clause regarding the aspect of social services in offering assistance to homeless people. However, it is observed that social rights and social welfare aspects have been provided to homeless people in recent past. The people with the need for assistance and accommodation were subjected to social rights and policies in order to meet the basic requirements. With reference to this aspect, it is witnessed that addressing the needs and alleviating housing issue can be duly considered as a social practice depending on varied situations (Greenhalgh & Moss, 2009).

In relation to the above context, it can be ascertained that homelessness is increasing and becoming a concerning social problem in the modern day society. Homelessness is caused due to various reasons and might require social care for ensuring greater effectiveness. Homelessness is not only related with the problem of housing, but it is also linked with various hectic and complex experiences of life. The negative impact of drugs and mental health issue is also interlinked with the problem of homelessness. To mitigate the issues regarding homelessness and housing needs, the ‘Housing Act 1996’ offers a legitimate provision (Crown, 2010). In light of the above stated issues, the deliverance of shelter and assistance is regarded as a legal as well as social care aspect or practice. It is usually the duty of the local authorities to reduce the issue of homelessness with the aid of various social care organisations. It is vital to state that this issue can be overcome with the help of formulating effective social care policies and services. Moreover, it is witnessed that the issue of homelessness can be mitigated with the help of social reforms, as the homeless people require assistance from diverse social care authorities. Therefore, it can be stated that resolving the need of homeless people is a part of social care policy towards the benefit as well as economic development of the nations (Greenhalgh & Moss, 2009).

In reference to above discussion, it is important to state that there are various agencies that work for the welfare of the society by adopting several steps. Moreover, there also exist several agencies and organisations that work together for providing accommodation to people and making them to lead better lifestyle. There are various strategies that are taken up by the agencies such as Homelessness-to-Housing Strategy, which was initiated by Queensland to address and mitigate the issue of homelessness. It is deciphered from various facts that mitigating the aspect of homelessness impose positive impact on the social health of a country. Homelessness leads to several health issues and thus leads towards increase in social distress and unhealthy lifestyle. It can be referred to as a social event, as it leads towards the conduct of several social unjust acts (Department of Housing and Public Works, 2014).

Thus providing assistance to the people with housing needs can reduce the negative impact of homelessness. It is a common psychology that when a person is leading a peaceful life with proper accommodation, his/her life is managed well with less health issues and social distress. This factor positively affects the society and the policies related with social care, as the costs related with health treatment is more than providing housing in terms of shelter. It will be vital to mention that the Public Service Agreement (PSA) works towards lessening health inequalities and mortality by a considerable extent. It is evident that the homeless people due to various factors are subjected to death in an earlier age. The death number increases due to the rise of homelessness as evident from the facts. Therefore, based on the above stated facts and evidences, alleviating and addressing the housing needs of people can be duly considered as a part of social health care policy and practice that aim at lessening health and other societal issues (Care Services Improvement Partnership, n.d.).

There are several roles that can be played by the social care workers to reduce the issue of homelessness. By gaining a proper knowledge regarding the various factors causing homelessness, social workers can prevent this issue. While taking steps to reduce homelessness, it is important for the social workers to follow the practices and polices reflected under the Care Act 2014 along with Housing and the Care Act 2014 (National Housing Federation, 2014). Moreover, it is important to state that by providing proper housing facilities and guidance to the people, the issue concerning homelessness can be reduced considerably. Homelessness, as explained above, is deemed to be a social issue, which mainly causes due to various factors. This issue can be mitigated through the help of government initiatives. Addressing to the problem of homelessness along with alleviating housing needs is sometimes reflected as a part of social care policy as well as practice but not always. Providing home care to old people who are in need and physical unfit is depicted as a part of social care practice. Moreover, in order to address the needs of housing, the social care providers tend to adopt appropriate measures for dealing with the issue of inequalities that are subjected to social care policies and practices (Crown, 2010).

Therefore, under such circumstances where the social care practices help people in need for home by providing them with assistance can be referred as a social work. Growing inequality is another cause of homelessness and in this context assisting people by providing shelter is considered as a part of social care with the support of the government.

With reference to the above study, it is revealed that the old age group people are in housing need due to several factors. The prevailing adverse economic conditions, health complications and loneliness make them homeless. In this regard, fulfilling the housing need of this group can be referred to as a social care policy. Moreover, housing need is provided to the group of people who have been forced to leave their place due to the happening of certain natural disasters and also due to bad health along with old age issue. According to Housing Act 1996, Part VII of Sec 189 states that housing need is fulfilled based on such significant factors including old age person, unfit individuals and people with dependent child who are provided with social care and their need for home is addressed as well as alleviated (EHDC, 2014).


From the above analysis and discussion, it can be comprehended that homelessness is a crucial social issue, which has its presence in global domain. It is duly considered to be a problem, which affects the economy of a country and disrupts social life at large. The issue of homelessness is faced by individuals due to various factors, major being old age, health issue and also joblessness. In this regard, providing accommodation to people can be regarded as a part of social care practice. Social care policies are important to assist people in need. From the perspective of government and social care, it is observed that housing need groups mainly include old age people and people with dependent children. Hence, from the analysis, it can be inferred that homelessness is caused due to various reasons. In precise, homelessness, which can be reduced by adopting varied social practices, can be duly considered as a part of social care. In this context, addressing and alleviating homelessness can be regarded as a part of social care practice as well as policy depending upon the causes of homelessness.


Crown, 2010. Estimating Housing Need. Department for Communities and Local Government, pp. 1-174.

Care Services Improvement Partnership, No Date. Housing Lin Policy Briefing. Prevention of Homelessness: The Role of Health and Social Care, pp. 1-4.

Department of Housing and Public Works, 2014. Homelessness-to-Housing Strategy 2020. Queensland Government, pp. 1-9.

EHDC, 2014. Housing Needs – Housing Priority Groups. Housing Priority Groups. [Online] Available at: [Accessed December 29, 2014].

Greenhalgh, S. & Moss, J., 2009. Principles for Social Housing Reform. Localis Research, pp. 4-70.

National Housing Federation, 2014. Social Care. Healthcare and Housing. [Online] Available at: [Accessed December 29, 2014].

Sostaric, M., 2013. Homelessness in the Republic of Croatia: A Review of the Social Welfare System for Homeless People. Profiling Homelessness: Serbia and Croatia, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 287-300.