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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2010): Social housing - overseas

Changing housing policy landscapes in Asia Pacific

R.L.H. Chiu and R. Ronald (guest editors)

International Journal of Housing Policy, vol. 10, 2010, p. 223-344

In the late twentieth century the nations of the Asia Pacific underwent intensified industrialisation, with several emerging as major economic powers. Central to this transformation was rapid urbanisation featuring, typically, public and private investment in the housing sector driven by state coordinated planning and policy directives. In recent years, however, social, economic and political conditions have changed due to successive economic crises and population ageing, transforming the landscape of housing policy and in many cases undermining its efficacy. The papers in this themed issue seek to provide more specific insights into housing policy in a range of countries, including:

  • How South Korea dealt with various housing and economic crises
  • The successes and failures of the market reform of China's housing system
  • The long established public housing policy of Hong Kong from a comparative research perspective
  • A review of recent housing policy restructuring in Australia.
  • An exploration, using Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore as case studies, of the relationship between housing policies, development-focused governance, and productivist welfare regimes.

The comeback of national housing policy in Australia: first reflections

V. Milligan and S. Pinnegar

International Journal of Housing Policy, vol. 10, 2010, p. 325-344

Australia's national housing policy is undergoing major reform after the election of a new social democratic government in November 2007. A new intergovernmental agreement to frame future housing policy and drive major reform of social housing commenced in 2009. The Australian government has also embarked on a variety of major housing initiatives that include: offering subsidies to private investors in new affordable rental housing; subsidising costs of residential development where savings are passed on to homebuyers; and national partnership agreements, which include targets to significantly reduce homelessness. Moreover, investment in additional social housing and cash assistance to first time buyers have featured strongly in economic stimulus packages designed to offset the domestic impact of the global financial crisis of 2008/09. An increase of 220% in national government expenditure on housing over the period 2008/09 to 2011/12 indicates the magnitude of change.

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