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Housing Policies: Better Targeting Those Most in Need. Christophe André Economics Department OECD. Outline of the presentation. General economic background Housing and welfare systems Homelessness: trends and policy orientations Conclusions: how to target those most in need?.
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Housing Policies: Better Targeting Those Most in Need Christophe André EconomicsDepartment OECD
Outline of the presentation • General economic background • Housing and welfare systems • Homelessness: trends and policy orientations • Conclusions: how to target those most in need?
General economic backgroundTrends in most OECD countries • Rising costs and shortages of housing • Rising income inequality and poverty • Deepest recession since the 1930s • Fiscal crisis
Income inequalityGini coefficients of income inequality, mid-1980s and late 2000s Source: OECD, Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising (2011).
Welfare systems and social housingStylised facts • Nordic model: extended welfare and flexibility – Universal social housing • Continental Europe: significant welfare but less flexible and universal – Diverse levels and organisation of social housing • English speaking countries: safety net approach – residual social housing • Transition economies: privatisation of housing at different speeds (e.g. cze,pol / est,svk)
Tenure structure across countriesPer cent of dwelling stock Source: Andrews, Caldera Sánchez and Johansson, “Housing Markets and Structural Policies in OECD countries”, OECD Economics Department Working Papers, No. 836.
Types of social housing systemsBased on eligibility and allocation criteria
Public spending on housing • Tax reliefs: tend to be regressive • Grants for social housing: generally declining • Housing allowances: under pressure • Public finances increasingly tight -> need for more focus
Homelessness: Trends • Difficult to measure. But seems to be rising in many countries • The recession and budget cuts are likely to make things worse • Main causes for homelessness: • Relationship breakdown and eviction • Personal vulnerabilities (addictions, mental health problems…)
Homelessness: Policy orientations • People with no special needs: • Welfare safety net • Support for housing (allowances, social housing) • Forbearance (mortgage/rent arrears)/Prevention • People with special needs • Housing First (rather than Staircase models) • Additional social services • Coordination with landlords
Homelessness and social housing • Disconnect between homelessness policies and social housing: path dependency, “policy silos”, stigma, financial risk… • Social housing for people with special needs? • Difficult for them to access market housing • Could face hardship in private rental • Coordination with social services
Conclusions: how to target the most in need? • System approach to housing policies: is more social housing needed or are the problems elsewhere? • Allocation of social housing is key • For people with special needs: need for better coordination with social and health services