Jennifer Hoolachan

Jennifer Hoolachan

Professional Title: Lecturer
Institution: Cardiff University
Position: Associate Member


Since 2016, I have been a Lecturer in Criminology and Sociology at Cardiff University.  I also sit on the committee of the Housing Studies Association.

My research interests include:

  • Homelessness and housing-related issues among young people and women
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Social control of public and private spaces
  • Belonging, identity and constructions of home
  • Qualitative methods (particularly ethnography)

In April 2016, I completed my PhD at the University of Stirling.  My thesis involved an ethnographic study focusing on the drug and alcohol use of young homeless people living in a temporary accommodation hostel in Scotland.  Through this I became interested in the concepts of belonging, identity and home and, particularly, what ‘home’ means in the context of homelessness.

In 2015-16 I worked at the Centre for Housing Research, University of St Andrews, where I was a researcher on projects concerning the rise of ‘Generation Rent’ – the phenomenon of the increasing numbers of young people living in the Private Rented Sector (PRS).  Specifically, I was interested in problems of affordability, precarity, (lack of) home in the PRS and how these issues all impact on young people’s transitions to adulthood.

Although my work has predominantly focused on youth homelessness, more recently I have been involved in conducting an evaluation of a new homeless hostel that opened in South Wales in 2017 which exclusively accommodates women who are involved in sex work or who are at risk of sexual exploitation.  Implementing what is known as a ‘Psychologically Informed Environment’, this hostel aims to support some of the most vulnerable women in the area through structured activities and the use of wraparound services.

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