- Available in: Print and PDF
- Published: November 1, 2008
Edited by Julie Cowans.
Published 2008 (ISBN 1 905370 40 7) Price £9.95
The future of social, or non-market, housing is high up the public policy agenda in every Western country. Governments are having to grapple not only with the impact of the global credit crisis in terms of falling house prices and unwanted sub-prime stock, but also with the consequences for investment in social housing and estate regeneration. Moreover, an economic downturn will add to public housing waiting lists, increase housing welfare costs, and narrow housing choice. The state’s intervention in housing markets had for more than a century defined social progress and improved the health and well-being of millions of low-income families. Public housing, in all its forms, was at the heart of the post-war welfare revolution and was instrumental in providing for social mobility. In today’s property-owning societies this is no longer the case. Indeed, as this publication demonstrates, social housing has all too often become part of the multiple-deprivation problem. Rather than providing a hand-up, public housing (especially in mono-tenure estates) has all too often condemned families to the poverty trap and entrenched intergenerational housing inequalities. This report goes straight to the heart of the matter, looks at how the world has changed and asks: what, in today’s more affluent society, is social housing for? What can we learn from each other, and what reforms really make a difference in terms of better outcomes for tenants? The authors, drawing on evidence and analysis from their own countries, provide some considered and practical answers. Most of the recommendations are relevant to all Western countries, and collectively they present an agenda for reform that extends well beyond housing policy. Visions for Social Housing: International Perspectives offers a unique and timely insight into how nations are facing up to their housing challenges, and explores what the lessons might be for the UK.