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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2003): Social Housing - Overseas

HOUSING POLICY AND HEALTH

R. Catalano and E. Kessell

Journal of Social Issues, vol.59, 2003, p. 637-649

Discusses the application of research into the complex relationship between housing and health to government policy in that area. Although the authors expect a gradual improvement in the average quality of housing available to people of many social classes, they do not expect it to become uniform. Rather, they suggest, we should expect substantial variation around a gradually rising level of average housing quality. Assuming that the better-off will always trade up to higher quality housing or improve their existing dwellings, they argue that a standard of policy relevance for research on housing and health should not be whether it helps eliminate differences in health between rich and poor, but whether it helps sustain the or accelerate the improvement in health seen across all income strata over the last century.

INTERTENANCY RENT DECONTROL IN ONTARIO

L.B. Smith

Canadian Public Policy, vol.29, 2003, p.213-225

Under intertenancy rent decontrol sitting tenants are protected from eviction and the amount by which a landlord may increase their rent is limited. Upon vacancy, the landlord is at liberty to negotiate a new rent with a new tenant, after which increases are again regulated until the unit becomes vacant once more. Paper finds that transition from the former rigidly controlled rent regime in Ontario to intertenancy decontrol produced distortions in the market, the most significant being the creation of a two-tier rent system with the rent on decontrolled units ratcheted up. However, the maturation of the system is reducing these distortions and recontrol provisions protect long-stay tenants.

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