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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2012): Social housing - overseas

Local development policies and the foreclosure crisis in California: can local policies hold back national tides?

G. Glasgow, P.G. Lewis and M. Neiman

Urban Affairs Review, vol. 48, 2012, p. 64-85

What began as the bursting of a housing price bubble based on subprime mortgages in the US in 2006/07 evolved into a sustained national mortgage foreclosure crisis. This paper investigates the influence of municipalities' residential development policies on the local magnitude of the foreclosure crisis. The analysis shows that California cities with stronger local council opposition to residential growth had lower foreclosure rates, even after controlling for the rate of the growth in the housing stock and other local economic, demographic and geographic characteristics. In short, the research showed that local policies were able to mitigate some of the worst effects of the bursting of the housing bubble. Results suggest that local governments can to some extent shape the fortunes of their communities through their own policies.

A qualitative evaluation of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program: the recipients' perspectives

B.A. Teater

Qualitative Social Work, vol.10, 2011, p.503-519

The US Housing Choice Voucher Program services over 1.8m households and requires recipients to obtain housing from the private market in order to promote economically-mixed neighbourhoods and provide residential mobility among recipients by enabling them to select housing of their choice. This article presents the findings from a qualitative evaluation that solicited the experiences and perspectives of recipients resident in a Midwestern city through individual interviews. The data analysis revealed detailed experiences in regard to programme rules and priorities, stigma, and recipients' outcomes, and produced recommendations in regard to customer service, understanding recipients' circumstances, and programme rules.

The research-policy dialectic: a critical reflection on the virility of landlord-tenant research and the impotence of rental housing policy formulation in the urban Global South

S. Kumar

City, vol.15, 2011, p. 662-673

There is strong evidence in the research literature of the many benefits that tenants and landlords derive from the presence of vibrant rental housing markets in developing countries. However, policymakers continue to favour ownership over renting. This article considers why the research evidence on the benefits of rented housing has failed to change housing policy. It looks at three explanations: 1) that the views of policymakers are based on the myth that all landlords are exploitative; 2) that promotion of house ownership is popular with electorates; and 3) that powerful real estate interests have reduced governments' room for manoeuvre.

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