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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2009): Social housing - overseas

Government mortgage guarantee as an instrument of housing policy: self-supporting instrument or subsidy?

M. Elsinga, H. Priemus and L. Cao

Housing Studies, vol. 24, 2009, p. 67-80

A government mortgage guarantee scheme enables lower-income groups to obtain a larger mortgage and thus gives them better access to home ownership. A guarantee can take the form of either an unsubsidised financial instrument that provides access to those who would otherwise be rationed out of the mortgage market or of government-funded financial support to low-income households. This paper explores the nature and role of mortgage guarantee schemes in eight countries. In order to answer the question of whether a guarantee is a subsidy or a self-supporting instrument, the paper explores the Dutch and US cases in more depth.

The long-run decline in employment participation for Australian public housing tenants: an investigation

G. Wood, R. Ong and A.M. Dockery

Housing Studies, vol.24, 2009, p.103-126

Between 1982 and 2002 the proportion of Australian public housing tenants in employment fell markedly relative to Australians living in other housing tenures. This paper explores the potential causes of this trend and their policy implications. For male social housing tenants, the declining employment participation rate can be explained by closer targeting of public housing on those most disadvantaged in the labour market and blunter work incentives. However, the employment rate of female tenants has remained flat although favourable labour market conditions should have improved it. Further research is required to explain this.

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