Strategic pragmatism? The state of British housing policy

Mark Stephens and Deborah Quilgars

in Social Policy Review 18

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9781861348449
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303459 | DOI:
Strategic pragmatism? The state of British housing policy

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This chapter argues that Labour lacks a coherent strategy in relation to housing policy, and that government policy in relation to social housing, home ownership and homelessness is marked by a degree of contradiction and incoherence. It notes that in social housing, as in other areas of social welfare, the role of the local authority has become that of strategic management rather than provision. It further notes that the choice agenda has been pursued through piloting of reform to Housing Benefit, in the form of the Local Housing allowance, which offers a standard payment fixed according to family circumstance and local rents. The chapter explains that the idea is that this offers claimants a ‘choice’ in terms of the quality and quantity of housing they consume (although, in practice, little choice about the provider).

Keywords: Labour; housing policy; social housing; home ownership and homelessness; social welfare; strategic management; provision; Housing Benefit; Local Housing allowance; choice

Chapter.  6521 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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