Housing, spatial patterns and social cohesion

Peter Ratcliffe

in Promoting social cohesion

Published by Policy Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9781847426956
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303084 | DOI:
Housing, spatial patterns and social cohesion

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This chapter explores how housing policy should be evaluated in relation to the cohesion debate. It also reorientates housing-policy debates around the core theme of social, as distinct from ‘community’, cohesion. The significance of housing quality and the built environment is explained. The dominant social-policy focus on ethnic segregation, infused with the suggestion that communities have begun to exhibit ‘parallel lives’, is a relatively recent phenomenon. The chapter then addresses the key questions: how can access to good-quality housing can be improved?; and how can more stable and cohesive neighbourhoods be promoted? In addition, it elaborates the increasing access to social housing, the problem of ‘racial steering’, and deploying regeneration policy so as to promote greater ‘social mix’. There is some evidence that mixed-tenure developments may enhance interaction between residents from different backgrounds.

Keywords: housing policy; spatial patterns; social cohesion; social policy; ethnic segregation; racial steering; neighbourhoods

Chapter.  8074 words. 

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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