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Social Housing in Europe : from government to Governance. Paper presented to Housing Sociale: Esperienze europee a confronto per un modello lombardo convegno INTERNAZIONALE MILANO, 5 th of March, 2009 by Dr Michelle Norris School of Applied Social Science University College Dublin

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social housing in europe from government to governance
Social Housing in Europe: from government to Governance

Paper presented to

Housing Sociale: Esperienze europee a confronto

per un modello lombardo

convegno INTERNAZIONALE

MILANO, 5th of March, 2009

by

Dr Michelle Norris

School of Applied Social Science

University College Dublin

Ireland

foundation
Foundation:

Around the start of the 20th Century

Social housing =

Rented +

Subsidised +

Non market allocation

developments post 1945
Developments post 1945

Public capital subsidies supply growth

developments post 1980s 1990s
Developments post 1980s/1990s

Supply decline or stagnation, but not everywhere!

policy changes post 1980s 1990s
Policy Changes Post 1980s/1990s
  • Reduction in public capital subsidies across Europe falling new building
  • Partially replaced by housing allowances and private sector funding in the West
  • Privatisation:
    • In the West: UK, Netherlands
    • In most of the post-socialist East – but pace varies
  • Rolling back of direct government supply of social housing
    • More non profit sector and arms length provision, tenant management – UK, Ireland
    • More private sector provision – across Europe
  • More emphasis on social ownership

.

drivers of these developments
Drivers of these developments
  • In the West:
    • Sector redefined as the cause of housing problems, not solution.
    • Anti-government ideologies
    • Housing supply and standards problems resolved
    • Increasing availability of credit for low income households
  • In the post-socialist East
    • Influence of UN, World Bank
    • Home ownership would promote social stability during a period of rapid social and economic change.
challenges arising today
Challenges Arising Today:
  • Residualisation – concentration of low-income and ethnic minority households in social housing.
  • Management challenges
      • Ethnically diverse client group
      • Socialisation of the management task – eg. dealing with anti-social behaviour
  • Negative impact of ‘poverty neighbourhoods’
      • Neighbourhood diversification strategies
      • Social cohesion strategies
  • Finance challenges
      • Higher income tenants can create opportunities for cross subsidy
challenges arising today1
Challenges Arising Today:
  • Funding:
  • Housing allowances are problematic:
    • ‘uncontrollable’
    • Create poverty traps
  • Challenges in raising private sector funding:
    • Credit crunch – limits use of public private partnerships
    • Requires government support – guarantee, intermediary lending etc
    • Requires asset base.
    • Insufficient to fund extensive new output.
  • Challenges associated with State funding – lack of money, EU competition rules.
  • Particular finance problems in post-socialist countries
    • EU Structural funds have been made for available for housing refurbishment.
challenges arising today2
Challenges Arising Today:
  • Governance:
  • How does government influence social landlords without owning or directly funding them?
  • The social rented stock a valuable asset – can the State access this capital?
  • Social landlords own large parts of some cities – should they carry out other social activities, such as urban renewal?
  • How to ensure that local priorities are met?
challenges arising today3
Challenges Arising Today:
  • Supply:
  • Growing demand for subsidised housing:
    • In cities
    • Among middle income households
    • Due to the credit crunch
  • How does government increase supply, while:
    • Minimising direct public funding
    • Observing EU competition rules?