Housing policy, housing tenure and the housing market

Alan Murie

in Social Policy Review 19

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9781861349415
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303466 | DOI:
Housing policy, housing tenure and the housing market

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This chapter reviews housing policy in 2006, placing it in the context of the development of housing policy since 1945. The Labour governments since 1997 have continued their predecessors' policy of residualising social housing and offering no real long-term alternative to home ownership. Policy has focused on interventions to extend forms of home ownership to groups that have hitherto been prevented from entering the housing market. Problems of affordability and housing supply have been addressed primarily through the use of the planning system as a means of influencing the supply of housing through the market at ‘arm’s length. This approach to housing policy has a number of important consequences in the context of the central place given to asset ownership in the government's welfare policy. The capital value of housing is taking on increasing importance as a resource that individuals can use to pay for services previously provided by the state. This means that the significance of housing policy increasingly extends beyond the provision of shelter, and places individual home ownership in a central position for the future funding of welfare, with important implications for the way in which differences in the capital value of housing transfer into inequalities in individual access to welfare provision.

Keywords: UK housing policy; Labour government; asset ownership; welfare policy; welfare provision

Chapter.  6840 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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