The varying conditions for different groups of people – men, women, couples and families – risking eviction and in a situation of homelessness have not attracted much attention as a research area in Sweden, although their needs are an issue which is emphasized among practitioners. This article deals with the ultimately political question of how the assumed special needs and characteristics of homeless people are discussed and responded to in existing social services and housing provisions. It presents, specifically, an analysis of the way in which constructions of gender differences affect formal and informal Swedish homelessness policies, as well as the outcome of these policies for the homeless people concerned. Discourse theory and the concepts of “street-level bureaucracy” and “gender” are the main theoretical tools. The article focuses on the intersection of discourses on homelessness and gender in order to understand the organization of help offered to households risking eviction and to homeless people.
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