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

The choice agenda in disability housing provision

I. Wiesel and R. Fincher

Housing Studies, vol. 24, 2009, p. 611-627

In housing for people with intellectual disabilities, choice has become a central value by which different state funded housing and support models are judged, compared and subsequently prioritised for funding. This paper examines three seemingly contradictory propositions that could be made about the choice agenda in disability housing: first, that it is a natural progression of the disability rights movement after de-institutionalisation; second, that it is a neo-liberal strategy of the state to withdraw from some of its welfare responsibilities; and third, that it is no more than empty rhetoric with few practical implications. Examination of the provision of housing for people with intellectual disabilities in Victoria, Australia suggests that each of these propositions is valid to some extent.

Housing choice vouchers, the low-income housing tax credit and the federal policy deconcentration goal

A.R. Williamson and others

Urban Affairs Review, vol.45, 2009, p.119-132

Poverty deconcentration is a major US federal government policy goal that has gained prominence in recent years. The authors address the issue of whether the two dominant programmes aimed at providing housing for the poor tend to support this goal. The Housing Choice Voucher programme enables households in receipt of a voucher to look for private rental housing that meets their requirements. The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Programme is a supply side initiative which has become the primary vehicle for delivering new affordable housing for rent since its launch in 1986. The authors find that LIHTC dwellings are important sources of housing opportunities for voucher holders in some areas. However, they also find evidence that the location of LIHTC dwellings in economically distressed areas known as Qualified Census Tracts may reinforce existing poverty concentrations.

Nonprofit perceptions of local government performance in affordable housing

R.M. Silverman

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. 2, 2009, p. 253-262

The role of local government in affordable housing provision in the USA has been in decline since the 1960s. Community-based nonprofit housing organisations have emerged to fill the gap left by state withdrawal. Over time, a national network of foundations and intermediaries has developed to provide these organisations with technical assistance and financial support. In the absence of an active public sector providing nonprofits with assistance and supportive institutional structures, many affordable housing initiatives are doomed to fall short of expectations. This paper attempts to refocus attention on the role of local government in affordable housing activities involving both nonprofit and public sectors. This is done through an analysis of how nonprofits perceive local government performance in affordable housing provision.

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