Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter explores the debates about the causation of homelessness. The first part of this chapter looks at the history of how homelessness has been interpreted. The second part looks at the important role of evidence and how it has informed debate, generating important new ideas about the nature of homelessness and also examines the persistence of ‘zombie ideas’ about causation that take little account of the evidence base. This chapter concludes by arguing that the most widespread narratives about changing explanations for homelessness tend to oversimplify a diverse mix of often ideologically driven ideas that have formed at varying degrees of distance from an incomplete evidence base.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Homelessness
EditorsJoanne Bretherton, Nicholas Pleace
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781351113113
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Handbooks


  • Homelessness
  • Causation

Cite this