International Perspectives on Poverty, Social Exclusion, and Homelessness
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International Perspectives on Poverty, Social Exclusion, and Homelessness

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Presentation given by Professor Marybeth Shinn, Professor of Human and Organizational Development Vanderbilt University, Peabody College, Nashville, USA at a FEANTSA Research Conference on ...

Presentation given by Professor Marybeth Shinn, Professor of Human and Organizational Development Vanderbilt University, Peabody College, Nashville, USA at a FEANTSA Research Conference on "Homelessness and Poverty", Paris, France, 2009

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International Perspectives on Poverty, Social Exclusion, and Homelessness International Perspectives on Poverty, Social Exclusion, and Homelessness Presentation Transcript

  • International Perspectives onPoverty, Social Exclusion, and Homelessness European Observatory on Homelessness 18 September, 2009 Marybeth Shinn,Vanderbilt University beth.shinn@vanderbilt.edu
  • Outline: Homelessness in Industrialized Countries• Definitions & comparative numbers• Pathways into Homelessness: – Poverty and lack of social safety net – Housing affordability and subsidies – Structural changes  income and housing – Social exclusion – Individual factors – Relationship among levels of analysis
  • If a turtle loses its shell, is itnaked, or is it homeless? View slide
  • Definitions Matter• U.S.: Literal homelessness: rough sleeping; shelters (specialized homelessness services)• Europe: Broader focus on tenuous or inadequate ties to housing• Australia: 3 levels – Primary = rough sleeping – Secondary = shelters and doubling up – Tertiary = inadequate housing View slide
  • Focus on Literal Homelessness• Inadequate housing is almost by definition a function of poverty• Literal homelessness often theorized to be a function of disability• Goal is to switch lens to focus on structural factors, including poverty and social exclusion• Even disability may operate via poverty and access to housing
  • Self-Reported HomelessnessOver Lifetime in US as of 1990 Literal Literal Plus Doubled UpPercentage 7.4% 14.0%Number 13.5 million 26.0 million (Link et al., 1994)
  • % Lifetime Literal Homelessness U.S. and Europe: Telephone Surveys US UK Italy Belgium Germany6.2 / 8.1 5.0 / 7.7 4.0 3.4 2.4 (Toro et al., 2007; Shinn, 2007)
  • Pathway: Poverty and Lack of Social Safety Net• Income inequality• Social benefits• Social and subsidized housing
  • Social Policies: Income Inequality US UK Ital Bel Ger Fra Swe Jap Aus% lifetime 6.2/ 5.0/ 4.0 3.4 2.4literal 8.1 7.7homelessness% income for 1.9 2.1 2.3 3.4 3.2 2.8 3.6 4.8 2.0lowest 10%GINI 40.8 36.0 36.0 33.0 28.3 32.7 25.0 24.9 35.2coefficient U.N Development Report (2007/8)
  • Inequality and Homelessness• Models of housing markets (O’Flaherty, 1995, 1996) – At the bottom, increasing inequality increases demand for low-quality housing – At the top, increasing inequality increases demand for land – Both factors increase the price of low- quality housing, increasing homelessness
  • Social Policies: Social Benefits and Transfers US UK Ital Bel Ger Fra Swe Jap Aus% lifetime 6.2/ 5.0/ 4.0 3.4 2.4literal 8.1 7.7homelessness% income for 1.9 2.1 2.3 3.4 3.2 2.8 3.6 4.8 2.0lowest 10%GINI 40.8 36.0 36.0 33.0 28.3 32.7 25.0 24.9 35.2coefficientSocial benefits 10.6 15.6 20.5 19.6 20.2as % of GDPFamily benefits 0.5 2.3 2.7 2.7 3.3as % of GDP Alesina & Glaeser (2004)
  • Homelessness and Family Policy: U.S.• ¼ of all episodes of poverty begin with birth of a child (Waldfogel, 2001)• Homelessness among families associated with childbirth (Weitzman, 1989)• Infancy is the age at which risk of shelter use is highest (HUD Annual Homeless Assessment Report, 2007)
  • Effects of Taxes and Benefits on GINI US UK Ital Bel Ger Fra Swe Jap Aus% lifetime 6.2/ 5.0/ 4.0 3.4 2.4literal 8.1 7.7homelessnessGINI 40.8 36.0 36.0 33.0 28.3 32.7 25.0 24.9 35.2coefficientGINI Market 45 45 50 43 49 44 45Income(Luxembourg)% Reduction 18 24 48 42 47 43 31by Taxes andBenefits Smeeding (2000)
  • Poverty: United States• Highest income inequality in OECD• Greatest increase in inequality over past 2-3 decades• Transfers do least to redistribute• Both low social benefits and low wages lead to poverty (Smeeding, 2000)
  • Attitudes Towards Social Spending• Belief that poverty is society’s fault explains variance in social spending – 82% of variance among nations with 1998 per capital GDP > $15,000 – 43% of variance among 30 nations – Alesina & Glaser (2004)
  • Alesina & Glaeser (2004)
  • Housing Affordability• There is no State in the United States: – Where a full-time minimum wage worker can afford a two-bedroom apartment – Where a person on disability benefits can afford a studio apartment (NLIHC: Waldrip, Pelletiere, & Crowley, 2009)
  • Work Hours/Week at Minimum Wage Needed to Afford 2 Bedroom Apartment (NLIHC, 2009) VT:87 83 79 NH:108 71 66 MA:115 92 130 69 RI:101 87 79 70 78 CT:108 80 86 NJ:129 67 72 77 DE:99 111 89 82 63111 DC :131 86 91 73 73 MD:130124 77 81 78 79 76 70 89 69 74 90 77 94 92 109 109 = >120 = >80 and <120 HI:163 = <80
  • Housing Affordability andHomelessness: Economic Models• Rise in homelessness in U.S. corresponded to rising gap in housing affordability (Shinn & Gillespie, 1994)• Homelessness is higher when – Rental costs are higher relative to incomes – Vacancy rates are lower (Quigley et al. 2001) – (Problem: quality of homelessness data)• Recessions associated with rise in homelessness in New York City (O’Flaherty & Wu, 2006, Cragg & O’Flaherty, 1999)
  • Housing Subsidies andHomelessness: Economic Models• Studies of rates of subsidized housing and rates of homelessness are not convincing• Some find clear benefits to subsidies (Mansur et al, 2002)• Housing subsidies may be poorly targeted (Early, 2002, 2003; Early & Olsen, 2002)• Size of social housing sector is not closely related to rates of homelessness
  • Housing: Size of Social Rental Sector US UK: Ital Bel Ger Fra Swe Jap Aus Eng% lifetime 6.2/ 5.0/ 4.0 3.4 2.4literal 8.1 7.7homelessnessSocial Rental 3.2 18-- 7-- 17.3 17.7 4.9Sector as % ofStock Fitzpatrick & Stephens (2007)
  • Housing Subsidies and Homelessness: Interventions• Vouchers reduced shelter entry for families in national randomized study (US) (Wood et al., 2008)• Subsidies for families exiting NYC shelter associated with: – Lower returns to shelter (Wong et al., 1997) – Long-term stability (Shinn et al., 1998) – Lower shelter populations (O’Flaherty & Wu, 2006, Cragg & O’Flaherty, 1999)• Subsidized housing & entitlement benefits associated with exits from homelessness for adults and families in California (Zlotnick et al., 1999)
  • Structural Changes and Homelessness• Japan – Loss of lifetime employment, tied accommodations (Okamoto, 2007)• Central Europe – Change to market economy and social disruption (Hradecky & Hladikova, 2007; Fitzpatrick & Stephens, 2007)• France – Industrial restructuring (Firdion & Marpsat, 2007)• Global Economic Crisis
  • Pathway: Social Exclusion• Homelessness more common among socially excluded groups – U.S.: African Americans, Native Americans (Burt et al., 1999) – Japan: Ainu, Koreans, Okinawans; Eta and Hinin (Okamoto, 2007) – France: Africans and people from overseas departments (Firdion & Marpsat, 2007) – Australia: Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders (Homelessness Task Force, 2008)
  • Social Exclusion• Racial and linguistic heterogeneity are inversely associated with social welfare spending – Across nations (total spending) – Across states in U.S. (welfare benefit) – Alesina & Glaser (2004)
  • Alesina & Glaeser (2004)
  • Mechanisms Linking Social Exclusion to Homelessness• Current discrimination – income, employment• Past discrimination – wealth (housing)• Current discrimination – housing access• Differential rates of imprisonment
  • Mechanisms of Social Exclusion (U.S. Black vs. White)• Median family income 55% as high• Median household net worth 1/8 as high – Conley (1999)• Ongoing residential discrimination in tests – Turner et al. (2002)• Male imprisonment 7.1 times higher – Harrison & Karberg (2004)
  • Imprisonment Rates per 100,000800700600500400300200100 0 U.S. NZ UK Aus Italy Germ Fran Jap Source: International Centre for Prison Studies, 2006
  • Individual Pathways• Economic capital• Human capital/ Disability• Social capital• Life transitions• All have implications for poverty and housing needs
  • Economic Capital• Current poverty• Poverty in family of origin – Culture of poverty? – Inability to assist young adults – Health and mental health problems – Differential access to human capital
  • Poverty and Homelessness : NYC Families• Poverty in family of origin – Predicted shelter entry – Unrelated to post-shelter housing stability, after subsidized housing controlled – (Shinn et al., 1998)• Implications: – Lack of resources, not “culture” important – Social policy can counteract individual vulnerability
  • Human Capital/ Disability• Education and skills to get employment• Mental health, substance abuse problems – Higher for single adults than for families – Bi-directional relationship: Risk amplified by homelessness (Johnson & Chamberlain, 2009) – Important minority• Physical health (also bi-directional)• All related to ability to earn income
  • Social Capital• Bi-directional relationship with homelessness (Firdion & Marpsat, 2007)• Particularly important for groups who may be dependent on others – Older adults – Women in some societies – Adolescents• Negative relationships: conflict, violence (Philippot et al., 2007)
  • Social Capital Evidence: NYC Families• Families entering shelter reported MORE social ties than other poor families• Also more negative relationships – Domestic violence – Foster care, other childhood disruptions (Shinn et al., 1998)• Domestic violence paradox
  • Cures for Individual Factors: Housing Important for All• Poor people: Subsidized housing – New York: Homeless families same level of stability as other poor families (Shinn et al., 1998)• Adolescents: French foyer model• Adults with mental illnesses: – Supported housing; housing first model (Tsemberis et al., 2003, 2004)
  • Relationships Among Levels• Policy, socio-cultural, structural factors: – rates of homelessness – social groups at risk• Individual vulnerability factors: – who becomes homeless (Musical chairs)• Implications for prevention – General social policy – Support for vulnerable groups
  • Relationships Among Levels• Risk amplifi cation over time – Adolescents (Whitbeck & Hoyt, 1999) – Older adults (Shinn et al., 2007)• Implica tions
  • Interactions Across Levels• Policies and services can compensate for individual vulnerabilities – Single parenthood: U.S. vs Belgium – Subsidized housing for families in NYC – Supported housing, especially housing first programs for individuals with mental illnesses
  • Summary: Pathways & Cures• Poverty & Structural Change – Reduce inequality via wages, tax and transfer programs – Provide social benefits, housing subsidies• Social exclusion – Identify and counteract mechanisms – Enforce anti-discrimination policies – Compensate for discrimination
  • Summary: Pathways & Cures• Individual factors – Social policy to counteract individual vulnerabilities – Support for transitions • Young people (families) • People leaving institutions – Ongoing supported housing, housing first • People with mental illnesses • Older adults