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Social Housing after the GFC: Further Evidence

A Tale of two Busts (and a Boom): Irish Social Housing before and after the Global Financial Crisis

A Tale of two Busts (and a Boom): Irish Social Housing before and after the Global Financial Crisis

This article examines the marked decline in Irish social housing’s traditional role as the main source of accommodation for low-income households. We argue that although this policy redirection has become clearly apparent in the context of the Global Financial Crisis; its roots are, in fact, much older. They lie, not in Ireland’s most recent fiscal crisis, but in the last one which occurred between the late 1970s and mid-1980s. Changes made to arrangements for funding social housing during this time effected a long-term contraction in the social housing’s contribution to total housing output which, in turn, precipitated growing reliance on housing allowance subsidised private rented housing to accommodate this group.  The post-GFC austerity merely accelerated this long-term trend rather than signalled a new policy direction.

27.12.2017 | Michelle Norris, Michael Byrne | Volume: 4 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 19-28 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.2.383
Social Housing after the GFC: Further Evidence

The French Social Housing Sector at the Crossroads of Budgetary Constraints and Social Missions

The French Social Housing Sector at the Crossroads of Budgetary Constraints and Social Missions

France has a high rate of production of new housing and the Global Financial Crisis has had little impact on a country of fixed-rate housing loans and strong guarantees for home-buyers. At the same time, the social rental sector, managed by a powerful network of public and private (not-for-profit) companies, has greatly increased its housing production thanks to the use of a financial mechanism that is independent of mainstream finance. Housing should be easily available throughout France. But this is not the case in the capital region and for some disadvantaged households. Critics regularly speak out against the deficiencies of French housing policies. Opponents of increased public spending consider that too much public money is being spent on this, while supporters of the free market say that the legal and institutional framework hinders private initiatives. Advocates of homeless people and low-income groups complain about the high cost of housing and segregation processes. This paper presents the debates and discussions regarding the pros and cons of housing policies in France at a time of severe budgetary constraints.

26.12.2017 | Jean-Pierre Schaefer | Volume: 4 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 29-38 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.2.384
Social Housing after the GFC: Further Evidence

Building Partnerships for Social Housing: Growing Housing Needs and Effective Solutions for Albanian Cities

Building Partnerships for Social Housing: Growing Housing Needs and Effective Solutions for Albanian Cities

Partnerships have a long history in European social housing with a mixed degree of success. They are an emerging model in post-socialist countries driven by budgetary constraints, rapid privatisation of public housing, and pragmatic efforts to respond to a complex housing affordability crisis. This article evaluates the challenges and opportunities of a new partnership model implemented in Albania to provide social rental housing. The project, launched in 2009, involves a legally defined partnership between central and local governments, the private sector, and an international financial institution. It has doubled the amount of municipal rental housing, addressing the needs of low- and mid-income households in Albania through the construction of 1,138 rental apartments for 4,300 people in eight cities. The allocation process, although politically charged, has been targeted. The partnership has capitalised on efficiencies, sound fiscal management, and cost and quality control. Despite some construction delays and potential concerns related to future sustainability, we argue that the partnership model is effective and has an important learning and innovation role for the future provision of social housing in Albania as well as in other post-socialist countries in South-East Europe facing similar challenges.

25.12.2017 | Sasha Tsenkova, Doris Andoni | Volume: 4 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 39-53 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.2.385
Social Housing after the GFC: New Trends across Europe

Social Housing Models: Past and Future

Social Housing Models: Past and FutureThis paper looks at the rationale for social housing; examines the models that have been used in Europe over the last century and how social housing might be maintained into the future.
28.6.2017 | Christine Whitehead | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 11-20 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.1.320
Social Housing after the GFC: New Trends across Europe

Social Housing in England: Affordable vs ''Affordable''

Social housing in England: Affordable vs ''Affordable''England''s increasing housing affordability problem, widely described as a ''housing crisis'', has become a major public and political concern in recent years. The proportion of social housing has been shrinking for 40 years but there is no political appetite—at least under the current government—to reverse this. Policies are instead addressed at making some private housing more affordable and at increasing access to owner occupation by allowing more social tenants to buy their homes. The government has increased its control over the financial affairs of social landlords, who are responding by concentrating on those areas of activity where control is less stringent.
27.6.2017 | Kathleen Scanlon | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 21-30 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.1.321

Housing as Asset Based Welfare: A Comment

Housing as Asset Based Welfare: A Comment

This paper aims to provide a contribution to the debate about housing as asset based welfare begun in this journal in 2015. It suggests that there are strong reasons associated with life cycle earnings and consumption why owner-occupation can be a desirable option, especially for older households. However owner-occupation can be a high risk option for less well-off households while increasing both inequality across income groups and particularly through its impact on inter-generational income and wealth. Even so, housing inequalities, despite all the market failures associated with its provision and allocation, are more an outcome of broader economic fundamentals. Moreover housing policies can improve the lived experience for many. Policies should aim to provide a tenure neutral-taxation environment but also to reduce credit and other constraints to entering owner-occupation. At the same time there must be support for those with inadequate income to achieve acceptable housing standards.

28.6.2016 | Christine Whitehead | Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 10-18 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.1.249
Special issue on Housing Asset-Based Welfare

Homebuying: a Critical Perspective on Financial Costs and Gains

Homebuying: a Critical Perspective on Financial Costs and Gains

In Britain, the shift from the ideology of homeownership into one of homeownership-based welfare has been sustained by homebuyers being regarded as investors. Homeowners are expected to create a synergy between the owned house seen as a space of shelter, place of home and increasingly, an investment vehicle and an object of debt. Drawing on 80 interviews with owner-occupiers and national data on house prices and mortgages, we examine the way in which the meanings of home meanings are negotiated through the subjective calculation of the financial costs and gains of homebuying. We explore homebuyers’ debt amnesia, their miscalculation of gains and their disregard of inflation. However homebuyers’ financially unsophisticated understanding of the asset-home arises less from book-keeping complexities or difficulties in pricing the emotional domain of the home, but rather by them instinctively considering the alternative cost of a rented space of shelter. From this financial perspective and given affordability, homebuying illustrates a misleading ideological notion of choice.

24.6.2015 | Adriana Mihaela Soaita, Beverley Ann Searle | Volume: 2 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 65-73 | 10.13060/23362839.2015.2.1.177

The Housing Market Reform Agenda: A Review of a Recent Housing Policy Document in the Netherlands

The Housing Market Reform Agenda: A Review of a Recent Housing Policy Document in the Netherlands

The Dutch Cabinet published its Housing Market Reform Agenda on 17 September 2013. This paper describes the main features of the Agenda and presents an ex-ante evaluation of this policy document. The introduction of a landlord levy is one of the biggest inconsistencies in this Agenda. The Housing Market Reform Agenda is particularly critical of housing associations. There are good reasons to throw away the bath water, but the baby (= the housing association) should be nurtured.

29.1.2014 | Hugo Priemus | Volume: 1 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 9-16 | 10.13060/23362839.2014.1.1.25
Copyright 2013 Critical Housing Analysis
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