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Untitled Document
Welfare Policy, Homelessness and Social Exclusion (WELPHASE)

Created in 2003 (First workshop held in 2004)

Coordinators
Evelyn Dyb
Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR)
Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
Oslo, Norway
evelyn.dyb@oslomet.no
Joe Finnerty
School of Applied Social Studies
University College Cork
Cork, Ireland
j.finnerty@ucc.ie

 

Magdalena Mostowska
University of Warsaw
Warszawa, Poland
mmostowska@uw.edu.pl
Yoshiro Okamoto
Chukyo University
School of Business and Public Policies
Nagoya, Japan
yokamoto@mecl.chukyo-u.ac.jp

Description of the Working Group (central theme)
The WELPHASE working group was founded in 2003 and has given a workshop at every annual ENHR conference since 2004. In the initial phase homelessness was the core focus of the working group. Increasing awareness of the relationships between homelessness and housing, social exclusion and welfare policy, is reflected in the papers presented at more recent WELPHASE workshops. Thus the papers usually reflect a considerable thematic diversity, albeit framed by the overarching focus of the WG on homelessness, housing and social exclusion, and welfare policy.

Future Plans / Activities
WELPHASE WG is planning a workshop at the next ENHR conference in Uppsala, Sweden in 2018. The Workshop Coordinators look forward to receiving a broad range of papers concerning welfare policy, homelessness and housing exclusion along with current interests of the researchers and hope to have a fruitful discussion on those issues in a comparative perspective. The WELPHASE WG would particularly like to receive papers and presentations dealing with the conference theme of “Migration, Densification and Segregation”.

Past activities
The WELPHASE WG is holding a workshop at every ENHR conference since 2004 and welcomes papers at different stages of development varying from papers already accepted by a journal to mere drafts. The workshop offers an opportunity to receive comments and proceed with papers at the draft stage. Following the procedure of earlier workshops, a discussant was appointed to papers circulated within the workshop participants in advance, but also leaving time for questions and a general discussion.

The WELPHASE WG welcomes papers at different stages of development varying from papers already accepted by a journal to drafts. Following the procedure of earlier workshops, a discussant is appointed to papers circulated within the workshop participants in advance, but also leaving time for questions and a general discussion. In this way, the workshop offers a valuable opportunity to receive comments and proceed with papers which are at the draft stage.

A total of 14 presentations were made to the workshop for the 2017 Tirana conference, spanning five sessions. A wide range of substantive and methodological interests and issues informed the presentations. Homelessness-themed topics included: assessment of homelessness in Australian Aboriginal women presenting to domestic violence centres; narratives of migrants in Edinburgh, Scotland and Boston, USA; the role of statutory and voluntary service providers in Japan; the conceptualisation and measurement of women’s homelessness in Poland; quality of life amongst residents of an Irish emergency shelter; discourses of homelessness in the Swedish Parliament; housing preferences and support experiences amongst homeless shelter users in Denmark; antecedents of child homelessness for minorities in Denver, USA; the housing impacts of welfare cuts in London, England; tenure preferences of younger households in Hungary; and the impact of the politics of resentment on contemporary English housing policy. A diversity of methods and methodological approaches matched the diversity of topics, including qualitative and small-scale interviews, analysis of policies and speeches, and the analysis of large-scale data-sets.

Policy implications
The WELPHASE WG has strong links with research focused on social work, policy practice and policy evaluations. Many of workshop participants are practitioners in the field presenting their work for governmental, local governmental or voluntary bodies dealing with homelessness, housing policy and social exclusion. Homelessness research performed by academics is also of large interest to those who design and implement policy “on the ground”. Research presented at the WELPHASE workshop deals both with major issues of nation-wide policies, as well as small-scale practical problems of everyday work of case-managers and the like. The workshop is an excellent example of mutual implications and links between research and policy.