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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2007): Social housing - UK

Planning policies and affordable housing: England as a successful case study

C.M.E. Whitehead

Housing Studies, vol. 22, 2007, p. 25-44

Over the last two decades England has been developing a system by which the majority of new affordable housing will be produced with the help of the land use planning system. This paper begins by setting out the rationale and principles behind a link between land-use planning and the provision of affordable housing. It then examines how the mechanisms that have evolved in England relate to these principles, both formally and in practice, and assesses outcomes. Finally, lessons are drawn about the necessary conditions for success. It is concluded, that while use of the planning system to support the provision of affordable housing is a valuable tool, it is unlikely to be successful on its own.

Policing the housing crisis

H. Carr, D. Cowan and C. Hunter

Critical Social Policy, vol. 27, 2007, p.100-127

This article presents a case study of a recent (unsuccessful) attempt by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to regulate the behaviour of private tenants in houses in multiple occupation by placing obligations on their landlords to deal with antisocial behaviour. Private landlords were required in this scheme to become intermediaries between tenants, their guests, the state and “the area”. The scheme was ended by a landmark decision by the High Court in Northern Ireland, which struck it down on limited grounds under the Human Rights Act. The authors argue that this attempted regulation is symptomatic of a mutated housing crisis in which old questions of adequacy of provision have been supplanted by new questions of responsibility for controlling deviant behaviour.

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