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Council house sales, homelessness and contact with the criminal justice system: Evidence from the NCDS and BCS70 birth cohorts.Farrall, Stephen; Gray, Emily; Jones, Phil; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2019-07-26)Focussing on the changes in sitting tenants’ right to buy their council house (introduced in the UK in 1980), we explore the long-term impact of this policy change upon the lives of UK citizens. Using two longitudinal studies of UK citizens born in 1958 and 1970, we exam how policies aimed at achieving one set of goals (providing families with their own homes, reducing the control of councils and weakening the Labour Party’s voting bloc) may have also altered experiences of housing, homelessness, and contact with the criminal justice system not just for those for whom the policies were initially designed (adults living in council owned properties in the 1980s) but also for subsequent generations (most typically their children). Our contribution examines how legislative changes may have altered the lives of citizens, and highlights some of the unintended consequences of the ‘right to buy’ in the UK. We are able to investigate what happens when systems which have previously been tightly regulated suddenly become much less well regulated. Our paper utilises ideas developed by life-course theorists and historical institutionalists in order to understand in more depth how radical policy changes may shape and alter the lives of citizens.