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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2011): Social housing - overseas

On anti-social behaviour control in Hong Kong’s public housing

Y. Yau

Housing Studies, vol. 26, 2011, p. 701-722

Following the SARS outbreak in 2003, the Hong Kong Government implemented the Marking Scheme for Tenancy Enforcement in Public Housing, with the stated aim of improving hygiene and living conditions on public housing estates. The legitimacy of the Marking Scheme has been questioned because it is tenure based and targets public housing tenants only. This paper attempts to justify the Marking Scheme from the alternative perspectives of welfare conditionality and Chinese legalism. It is concluded that the substance of the scheme seems to match the ideologies of Chinese legalism quite well and that it appears to be an opportunistic attempt by the Hong Kong Housing Authority to strengthen its control over public housing assets.

Rent control and vacancies in Sweden

M. Wilhelmsson, R. Andersson and K. Klingborg

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. 4, 2011, p. 105-129

This paper analysed the effects of the Swedish national rent control system on vacancy rates. Results showed that vacancy rates were high in small and/or declining municipalities when rents were set higher than the predicted market rent. Vacancy rates were also found to be low in large and/or growing municipalities when controlled rents were set lower than the predicted market rent. Thus tenants in larger and/or growing municipalities gain from rent control in the form of rents lower than the market rate while tenants in small and/or declining municipalities lose in the form of rents higher than the market rate. This was not the intention of the Swedish rent control system and is a major failure in its operation.

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