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393.28 // Homelessness on Coruscant hits highest ever recorded, new study finds


Homelessness on the lower levels of Coruscant is reaching levels only seen in preceding centuries, a study by the Institute for Galactic Economic Affairs (IGEA) concluded this year, citing sky-rising property value and a rampant drug trade as the two largest sources of strife for the issue. Lamee Ranack, the Republic’s Chief of State, hoped to bring an end to the issue with her ‘Five Steps’ program to bolster the Republic’s “structural foundations”, the first step involving “economic reinvestment” and “revitalisation” for impoverished areas such as the capital city’s lower levels.

However, the study conducted by the IGEA was extremely critical of Chief of State Ranack’s policies, stating that credits used were only “fuel to the fire” that did not address the underlying issues of the rising levels of poverty and homelessness. The main area of Ranack’s economic revitalisation scheme was to buy up huge swathes of unused lower level infrastructure or buildings and refurbish them into housing estates or flats, but this itself created several neglected issues. First and foremost, the study writes, “the revitalisation scheme, as it is run by profiteer banks, neglects the needs of well-being by constructing or reconstructing housing in areas that are prone to gang violence or habitually plagued with anti-social behaviour to ensure that quotas are met.” Furthermore, “the forced eviction of ‘squatters’ created a tremendous sudden growth in homelessness, the biggest source of the issue, with spurred on anti-social behaviour as families and individuals struggled to live outside of the homeless communes that had naturally built up over time”.

To remedy this, the Coruscant government began issuing single-occupancy tents or larger tents for family occupants. However, the issuing of tents to the homeless has begun clogging up commercial highstreets as instead of living in sewers or under bridges, the homeless now live in ‘tent communities’ in open areas, bringing them into open clashes with Coruscant underworld police. Against Lammee Ranack’s wishes, the corporate block of the Senate has begun drafting a bill to illegalise vagrancy – in effect, forcing these homeless groups into more clandestine areas of the city – to keep commerce high, citing ‘public danger’ presented by the homeless due to high levels of the illegal drug trade.

With the senate’s backlash and current debate over the legality of homelessness, the government has been ineffective in stopping this growing crisis.