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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2001): Social Housing - Overseas

ADDICTED TO HOUSING

D. Gilliver

Housing, May 2001, p.18-21

Report of an interview with Henk Westra, one of the architects of the Delft model of choice-based allocation of social housing.

ENOUGH ABOUT DELFT .

T. Brown

Housing, May 2001, p.22-25

Presents a comparative study of policies and procedures for social housing allocation in different European countries. Examines the role of central and regional governments in determining and influencing lettings and allocations policies, the relationship between local authorities and housing associations, and policies to avoid the residualisation of social housing and the creation of sink estates.

POVERTY AND HOUSING IN THE NETHERLANDS: A PLEA FOR TENURE-NEUTRAL PUBLIC POLICY

H. Priemus

Housing Studies, vol. 16, 2001, p.277-289

The Netherlands Rent Subsidy Act 1997 reduces the rent ratio for low-income tenants considerably. Nevertheless the net rent ratios for low-income households have increased considerably since the mid-1980s. The Rent Subsidy Act is an open-ended scheme and that makes it highly probable that budget cuts would be enforced if expenses increased disproportionately in economically hard times. Owner occupiers in the fourth income decile and above enjoy more state support than tenants through fiscal arrangements. Public policy (rent subsidy plus income tax) is apparently not tenure neutral. Both low income home owners and tenants would benefit from a reformulation of housing policy and the income tax system in a more tenure-neutral direction.

SOCIAL MIX AND NEIGHBOURHOOD EFFECT: POLICY AMBITIONS AND EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE

W. Ostendorf, S. Musterd and S. de Vos

Housing Studies, vol. 16, 2001, p.371-380

In order to prevent concentrations of poverty from forming, a new area-based policy was formulated in the Netherlands which aimed to restructure the urban housing market at the neighbourhood level and mix high quality with low quality houses. Article addresses present poverty concentrations and housing stock mix characteristics in Amsterdam. By comparing neighbourhoods that already have a mixed housing stock to homogeneous neighbourhoods, it has been possible to see whether mixing really does correspond to significantly lower poverty rates. Results show that mixing does not in fact reduce poverty, and it is concluded that the policy does not have an empirical base.

URBAN HOUSING REFORM AND FINANCE IN CHINA: A CASE STUDY OF BEIJING

Y. P. Wang

Urban Affairs Review, vol. 36, 2001, p. 620-645

New housing policies introduced in China in 1998 aim to:

  • end direct housing distribution by employers and introduce housing cash subsidies;
  • create a diversified housing supply system with state-supported affordable commercial housing as the main form;
  • set up a new housing finance system to help developers and individuals with loans and mortgages to facilitate the urban housing
  • market.

VIENNESE WHIRL

B. Randall

Housing, May 2001, p.32-33

Reports on social housing provision in Vienna, where support services are contracted out to non-governmental organisations such as Caritas, the Red Cross and Volkshilfe Osterreich.