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Choice or No Choice? Genuine or Fake Choice? – A Qualitative Study for Reflecting on Housing Choice

Choice or No Choice? Genuine or Fake Choice? – A Qualitative Study for Reflecting on Housing Choice

This paper seeks to reflect on issues related to the nature of housing choice, drawing on qualitative empirical data collected in in-depth interviews.  This paper discusses two perspectives related to housing choice, namely, the ‘market perspective of housing choice’ and the ‘perspective of housing choice for well-being’. The ‘market perspective of housing choice’ highlights that desirability generally increases with a greater range of housing choice as the housing supply increases till a climax is reached, after which a further expansion of housing choice may indicate an excess housing supply, which may not be advantageous and home-buyers may instead ‘decide not to choose or buy’.  The ‘perspective of housing choice for well-being’ reveals that choice in the housing arena is often viewed as a means to eventual well-being, rather than as an end in itself.  Housing choice is ‘genuine’ and ‘meaningful’ if there are meaningful and significant options among a few desirable housing alternatives. ‘Fake housing choice’ involves having to choose from among housing options that are all generally bad.

27.7.2020 | Betty Yung, Barbara Y.P. Leung | Volume: 7 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 1-10 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.2.510
Varieties of Housing Regime Approaches

Rethinking the Concept of ‘Housing Regime’

Rethinking the Concept of ‘Housing Regime’

‘Housing regime’ is a term that is used relatively often in (macrosocial) research comparing housing policies and systems. However, there is no generally accepted definition of this term. In this paper I shall first scrutinise previous uses of the concept, starting with a discussion of the most famous regime concept – the welfare regime. The discussion paves the way for a redefinition of a ‘housing regime’: the set of fundamental principles according to which housing provision operates in some defined area (municipality, region, state) at a particular point in time. Such principles are thought to be embodied in the institutional arrangements that relate to housing provision, in the political interventions that address housing issues, and as in the discourses through which housing issues are customarily understood. This definition is compatible with the path-dependence approach that has been adopted here and with the aspects of reality that researchers want to capture using the ‘regime’ concept.

7.6.2020 | Hannu Ruonavaara | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 5-14 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.499
Varieties of Housing Regime Approaches

Incremental Change in Housing Regimes: Some Theoretical Propositions with Empirical Illustrations

Incremental Change in Housing Regimes: Some Theoretical Propositions with Empirical Illustrations

The durable structures of housing and housing institutions are often subject to long-term processes of incremental change. Nevertheless, housing studies have largely focused either on static snapshots of policies or, more recently, on the inertia of institutional path dependence, while processes of incremental change have been almost entirely neglected. Political scientists (Streeck/Thelen/Mahoney) have proposed a typology of patterns of incremental institutional change, and this paper explores the applicability of this typology to housing structures and housing institutions. We draw on empirical illustrations from the housing literature to show how five types of change – layering, conversion, displacement, drift, exhaustion – apply to housing structures and institutions. We conclude with some general observations on how the typology can be used in further studies of developments in national housing regimes.

6.6.2020 | Bo Bengtsson, Sebastian Kohl | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 15-24 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.500
Varieties of Housing Regime Approaches

Integrating Varieties of Capitalism, Welfare Regimes, and Housing at Multiple Levels and in the Long Run

Integrating Varieties of Capitalism, Welfare Regimes, and Housing at Multiple Levels and in the Long Run

The title conveys all the elements of this article. The typologies of capitalist economies, the typologies of welfare regimes, and the typologies of rental and owner-occupied housing regimes should be synchronised and combined, not selectively, but systematically. Integration will have to determine the multiple levels to which these typologies can be applied and on which they can interact. Owing to the persistence of housing institutions and buildings, a long-term (historical) view is also suggested – at all levels of analysis.

2.6.2020 | Walter Matznetter | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 63-73 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.504

Towards a Political Economy of the Private Rental Sector

Towards a Political Economy of the Private Rental Sector

This article sets out a theoretical framework for the political economy of the private rental sector, with a particular focus on the question of inequality. It brings together three existing bodies of research. First, macro-accounts of social stratification and wealth inequality. Second, Marxian critiques of the antagonism between accumulation and social reproduction. Third, qualitative accounts of tenants’ experiences of housing inequality. The article synthesizes these three literatures to put forward a political economy approach which can capture the multi-dimensional and multi-scale nature of both ‘housing’ and ‘home’ in the private rental sector. In so doing, it contributes to recent research on ‘generation rent’, in particular the related class and generational inequalities, as well as wider debates on the political economy of housing.

30.5.2020 | Michael Byrne | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 103-113 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.507

Financialised Privatisation, Affordable Housing and Institutional Investment: The Case of England

Financialised Privatisation, Affordable Housing and Institutional Investment: The Case of England

Historically, public and affordable housing has been provided by the state in close conjunction with local authorities, public housing developers, and other social housing providers. Yet, affordable rental homes are now increasingly being managed, produced, or acquired by private equity firms and other institutional investors. In this contribution, we argue that ‘financialised privatisation’ is a helpful concept for understanding these shifts in state-finance compromises within the post-crisis affordable housing sector. Drawing on the case of England, we first discuss the major mechanisms of financialised privatisation and examine how an increasingly polymorphous affordable housing sector has emerged with a focus on multi-tenure and mixed-income housing tenures. We then discuss the possible challenges of this transformation and conclude that it remains very much a question whether a privately funded housing system will emerge that provides genuinely affordable housing and reduces inequalities.

29.5.2020 | Gertjan Wijburg, Richard Waldron | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 114-129 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.508
Housing Financialisation and Families

Housing and Asset Based Stratification in the Enrichment Economy

Housing and Asset Based Stratification in the Enrichment Economy

This paper explores the ways in which housing wealth is producing new forms of differentiation among households. In doing so, it will argue that ‘asset based welfare’ is now better conceived as ‘asset based social stratification’ and that social class rather than generation remains the primary social divide. However, these class divides are increasingly shaped by the differential ability to accumulate and deploy primarily housing -based assets. These new forms of social (re) stratification will vary societally, temporally and spatially and are currently most evident in what can be described as older, mature home ownership societies. But similar developments and emerging fissures can be observed in newer, ultra home -ownership societies such as China and in the broader interconnections between the mobilization of family assets and the shift from consumer to market societies.

9.12.2018 | Ray Forrest | Volume: 5 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 4-13 | 10.13060/23362839.2018.5.2.438
Housing Financialisation and Families

‘Generation Rent’ and Intergenerational Relations in The Era of Housing Financialisation

‘Generation Rent’ and Intergenerational Relations in The Era of Housing Financialisation

Home ownership has been in decline in a number of developed societies since the early-2000s driven, primarily, by declining entry among younger households who have been increasingly pushed into the rental sector. This trend has been associated with a growing intergenerational divide, or even conflict, and the emergence of ‘Generation Rent’. This paper explores the conditions surrounding diminishing access to owner-occupation among new households with a focus on the historic maturation of home ownership sectors, the restructuring of the political economy around financialized housing wealth and the inter-cohort dynamics surrounding the accumulation and transfer of housing wealth. The paper takes an international perspective drawing on evidence from two parallel, but contrasting cases: Japan and the UK. The analysis illustrates the interrelatedness of inter- and intra-generational inequalities, with the former reinforcing the latter. It also focuses on the role of families as both a moderator of generational inequity at the micro level as well as an enhancer of socioeconomic inequalities overall.

8.12.2018 | Richard Ronald | Volume: 5 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 14-26 | 10.13060/23362839.2018.5.2.439

Delivering Social Housing: An Overview of the Housing Crisis in Dublin

Delivering Social Housing: An Overview of the Housing Crisis in Dublin

This paper explores the responses to the housing crisis in Dublin, Ireland, by analysing recent housing policies promoted to prevent family homelessness. I argue that private rental market subsides have played an increasing role in the provision of social housing in Ireland. Instead of policies that facilitate the construction of affordable housing or the direct construction of social housing, current housing policies have addressed the social housing crisis by encouraging and relying excessively on the private market to deliver housing. The housing crisis has challenged governments to increase the social housing supply, but the implementation of a larger plan to deliver social housing has not been effective, as is evidenced by the rapid decline of both private and social housing supply and the increasing number of homeless people in Dublin.

30.6.2018 | Valesca Lima | Volume: 5 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 1-11 | 10.13060/23362839.2018.5.1.402
Social Housing after the GFC: New Trends across Europe

Social Housing in Germany: An Inevitably Shrinking Sector?

Social Housing in Germany: An Inevitably Shrinking Sector?The role of the social housing sector as part of the German housing system has changed fundamentally since 1950. Social housing in Germany followed a number of common trends and features to be observed in most countries in Europe: delegation to local government, a narrow focus on fragile populations and a reduction in the proportion of social housing. The specific reasons for this are discussed as relating to the German background. Against a background of more and more tense housing markets the paper argues for a revitalization of social housing in Germany without repeating the old mistakes.
23.6.2017 | Stefan Kofner | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 61-71 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.1.325
Social Housing after the GFC: New Trends across Europe

More Social Housing? A Critical Analysis on Social Housing Provision in Spain

More Social Housing? A Critical Analysis on Social Housing Provision in SpainSince the 1950s Spain has developed a set of policies aimed at stimulating ownership through subsidies mainly in the form of interest rates or mortgage quotas to developers and households neglecting other forms of housing provision, for instance social rent. That system provided one off benefit to the developer and/or the purchaser and could not be reused to help other households. The financial crisis in 2008 evidenced the weakness of the Spanish housing system in providing affordable and secure shelter by means other than homeownership. The existent housing provision system failed to avoid the large number of evictions while simultaneously banks became owners of a large amount of empty dwellings. To some extent, the severity of the situation exerted considerable political pressure to devise a new framework for action to alleviate the housing problem in Spain. In this paper based on the post -crisis evidence we argue the need to reformulate approaches to provide adequate and affordable housing for certain collectives in Spain
17.6.2017 | Montserrat Pareja-Eastaway, Teresa Sánchez-Martínez | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 124-131 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.1.331

Reference Housing Costs for Adequate Dwellings in Ten European Capitals

Reference Housing Costs for Adequate Dwellings in Ten European Capitals

Providing adequate housing at affordable prices remains a challenge for all welfare states. As part of a pilot project for developing a common methodology for reference budgets in the European Union, reference rents and other housing costs (energy, taxes, maintenance) corresponding to adequate dwellings for four hypothetical households living in nine capital regions of the EU were estimated. In this paper, we discuss the approach that we have taken. Quality criteria for adequate housing were derived from EU indicators of housing deprivation, and the recent UK Housing Standards Review. We used data from the Study of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) of 2012. Unsurprisingly, the estimates of reference rents vary strongly across capitals, reflecting cross-national differences in the level of the average rent. By contrast, other housing costs, which mainly reflect energy costs, vary much less.

29.6.2016 | Karel Van den Bosch, Tim Goedemé, Nathalie Schuerman, Bérénice Storms | Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 1-9 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.2.1.248
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