Are ‘fair share’ policies fair to the homeless? A critical assessment of distributive siting policies in the Netherlands

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Abstract

Policymakers’ fears of an increased concentration of marginalised
and disadvantaged groups in already vulnerable urban neighbourhoods have
prompted recent measures to combat the spatial concentration of human
service facilities. In many cities, distributive siting policies have aimed to
achieve a more equal distribution of homelessness facilities across areas. This
article provides a critical assessment of the ‘fair share’ criteria that are in use
in Dutch siting policies. It brings to the surface the normative and political
nature of these criteria that often remains implicit in such policies. The research
shows that policy is dominated by discourse focusing on the potentially
negative effects these facilities may have on surrounding neighbourhoods in
terms of safety and security. As a consequence, the perspective of homeless
people is in danger of being overlooked by policymakers, risking a reduced
accessibility to service facilities. This article develops an analytical framework
that can be used to study fair share siting policies, and provides policymakers
with guidelines for assessing where services should be located.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-40
JournalEuropean Journal of Homelessness
Volume8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

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Netherlands
homelessness
service provider
anxiety
discourse
Group

Cite this

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title = "Are ‘fair share’ policies fair to the homeless?: A critical assessment of distributive siting policies in the Netherlands",
abstract = "Policymakers’ fears of an increased concentration of marginalisedand disadvantaged groups in already vulnerable urban neighbourhoods haveprompted recent measures to combat the spatial concentration of humanservice facilities. In many cities, distributive siting policies have aimed toachieve a more equal distribution of homelessness facilities across areas. Thisarticle provides a critical assessment of the ‘fair share’ criteria that are in usein Dutch siting policies. It brings to the surface the normative and politicalnature of these criteria that often remains implicit in such policies. The researchshows that policy is dominated by discourse focusing on the potentiallynegative effects these facilities may have on surrounding neighbourhoods interms of safety and security. As a consequence, the perspective of homelesspeople is in danger of being overlooked by policymakers, risking a reducedaccessibility to service facilities. This article develops an analytical frameworkthat can be used to study fair share siting policies, and provides policymakerswith guidelines for assessing where services should be located.",
author = "N. Karsten",
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Are ‘fair share’ policies fair to the homeless? A critical assessment of distributive siting policies in the Netherlands. / Karsten, N.

In: European Journal of Homelessness, Vol. 8, No. 2, 12.2014, p. 15-40.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AB - Policymakers’ fears of an increased concentration of marginalisedand disadvantaged groups in already vulnerable urban neighbourhoods haveprompted recent measures to combat the spatial concentration of humanservice facilities. In many cities, distributive siting policies have aimed toachieve a more equal distribution of homelessness facilities across areas. Thisarticle provides a critical assessment of the ‘fair share’ criteria that are in usein Dutch siting policies. It brings to the surface the normative and politicalnature of these criteria that often remains implicit in such policies. The researchshows that policy is dominated by discourse focusing on the potentiallynegative effects these facilities may have on surrounding neighbourhoods interms of safety and security. As a consequence, the perspective of homelesspeople is in danger of being overlooked by policymakers, risking a reducedaccessibility to service facilities. This article develops an analytical frameworkthat can be used to study fair share siting policies, and provides policymakerswith guidelines for assessing where services should be located.

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