Multi level welfare and housing regional housing policies in the spanish home ownership society
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Multi-level welfare and housing: regional housing policies in the Spanish home ownership society. Joris Hoekstra - OTB Research for the Built Environment / Delft University of Technology. Aitziber Etxezarreta. Estrella Cruz Mazo. Gala Cano Fuentes. Kees Dol and Joris Hoekstra.

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Multi level welfare and housing regional housing policies in the spanish home ownership society

Multi-level welfare and housing: regional housing policies in the Spanish home ownership society

Joris Hoekstra - OTB Research for the Built Environment / Delft University of Technology


Multi level welfare and housing regional housing policies in the spanish home ownership society

Aitziber Etxezarreta in the Spanish home ownership society

Estrella Cruz Mazo

Gala Cano Fuentes

Kees Dol and Joris Hoekstra


Goal of the research
Goal of the research in the Spanish home ownership society

To what extent do patterns of multi-level governance influence Spanish housing policy?

  • To what extent do regional policies drift away from the national housing policy?

  • What is the influence of regional affluence, historical identity and political ideology?

    Why?

    Subject of multi-level governance gets little attention in housing studies


Structure of the presentation
Structure of the presentation in the Spanish home ownership society

  • Multi-level governance: theoretical concepts

  • Spanish national housing and the influence of the GFC

  • Post-crisis regional housing policies (Basque Country, Andalucía)

  • Conclusions and recommendations for further research


Multi level governance 1
Multi-level governance (1) in the Spanish home ownership society

European Union

Nation States

Regions

Provinces

Municipalities

Countries with strong competencies at the regional level: Spain, Germany, Italy, UK, Belgium


Multi level governance 2
Multi-level governance (2) in the Spanish home ownership society

European Union

Nation States

Regions

Europeanization contributes to regionalization:

  • Regional policies of the EU

  • Transnational co-operation in so-called Euregions


Multi level governance 3
Multi-level governance (3) in the Spanish home ownership society

Multi-level governance and welfare provision.

What determines at which level welfare and housing policies are carried out?

3 concepts that may explain the rise of regional welfare policies:

  • Subsidiarity

  • Retrenchment of national welfare states

  • Regional autonomy and inter-regional solidarity

    T


Subsidiarity
Subsidiarity in the Spanish home ownership society

Organizing principle of decentralisation, stating that a matter ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest, or least centralized authority capable of addressing that matter effectively

=> Maastricht treaty (1992): what is EU responsibility and what is national responsibility?

=> Decentralization of welfare policies, ‘regional laboratories’

T


Retrenchment of the welfare state
Retrenchment of the welfare state in the Spanish home ownership society

Part of the responsibility for welfare policies might be transferred to the regional and/or local level in order to realize budget cuts at the national level (e.g. the decentralization of health care policies to the municipalities in the Netherlands).

Regional policy-makers might attempt to repair some of the effects of national welfare state retrenchment.


Regional autonomy and regional welfare policies
Regional autonomy and regional welfare policies in the Spanish home ownership society

The more regional autonomy, the higher the probability of regional welfare policies.

The degree regional autonomy depends on:

  • Economic development of the region

  • The degree and nature of the regional identity

  • The political structure of the country (federal or not?)


Spanish national housing policies pre crisis
Spanish national housing policies in the Spanish home ownership society(pre-crisis)

  • Mediterranean welfare state: important role for the family (resource pooling between insiders and outsiders)

  • Housing policies and economic policies are closely interlinked (housing as driver of economic growth)

  • Housing policies traditionally stimulate the owner-occupancy sector at the expense of the rental sector


Stimulation of home ownership
Stimulation of home ownership in the Spanish home ownership society

  • Fiscal incentives

  • Little regulation of the land markets and the financial markets

  • Subsidized home ownership


Subsidized home ownership
Subsidized home ownership in the Spanish home ownership society

  • Rooted in the Franco period to ease off political and social confrontation

  • Financed by either the central government, the autonomous regions or the local municipalities

  • Strong involvement of private developers

  • Focuses on low and middle-income groups

  • Temporary nature of the subsidy arrangement: good possibilities for making speculative profits

  • Since 2005: subsidized home ownership as a permanent tenure category (started in Basque country)


The crisis in some figures housing production
The crisis in some figures – housing production in the Spanish home ownership society


The crisis in some figures house prices
The crisis in some figures – in the Spanish home ownership societyhouse prices


The crisis in figures repossessions
The crisis in figures - repossessions in the Spanish home ownership society


The influence of the crisis on national housing policy
The influence of the crisis on national housing policy in the Spanish home ownership society

At first, traditional housing policies largely continued and there was a belief in a soft landing of the housing market

After 2012, strong budget cuts and a fundamental re-orientation of the national housing policy.


A reorientation of spanish housing policies
A reorientation of Spanish housing policies in the Spanish home ownership society

  • Less money for housing policies

  • Abolishment of subsidized homeownership and the one-off and fiscal subsidies for homeowners

  • More focus on the rental sector

  • More focus on renovation and sustainability

  • No critical reflection on the influence of former housing policies on the emergence of the crisis.


Some interesting elements of the new policy discourse
Some interesting elements of the new policy discourse in the Spanish home ownership society

  • A larger rental sector is seen as an instrument to enhance the functioning of the labour market

  • Large degree of Home ownership => rigid housing market => oversupply of dwellings => high vacancy rate (strange)

  • The government should promote a cultural change towards tenure: renting is affordable and good for the mobility and employment situation

    “Cambiar une cultura de acceso a la vivienda a la propiedad por otra que tenga en el alquiler una opción deseable y preferente”


Policies that aim to stimulate the rental sector
Policies that aim to stimulate the rental sector in the Spanish home ownership society

  • Rent allowances for lower income groups (up to 40% of rent that is paid, maximum 2400 Euro per year).

  • Object subsidies for public authorities or non-profit organization that want to built public rental dwellings (up to 30% of the costs, maximum 22.500 Euro).

  • Development of policies that improve the context for private rental landlords: more flexible rental contracts, faster eviction procedures in case of non-payment, fiscal incentives and/or guarantees for private rental landlords.

  • Throughout the policy documents, renting is particularly related to starters on the housing market, lower income groups and vulnerable people.


Policies with regard to home ownership
Policies with regard to home ownership in the Spanish home ownership society

  • Existing stimulating policies are largely abolished and not replaced by anything new.

  • No clear vision on the position of home ownership within the post-crisis housing market.

  • No development of policies that should prevent future crises and bubbles.

  • Little policy-making with regard to eviction-prevention and activation of the vacant dwelling stock.


Regional responses andaluc a
Regional responses - Andalucía in the Spanish home ownership society

  • Regional Andalusian government is ruled by social-democratic party since 1982.

    Strong focus on housing rights and the prevention of evictions:

  • Mediation

  • Temporary expropriation (< 3 years) of empty dwellings possessed by banks in order to house victims of repossessions

  • Fines for companies who don’t rent out vacant dwellings.

  • Fiscal incentives and guarantees for individual households who rent out vacant dwellings


Regional responses basque country
Regional responses: Basque country in the Spanish home ownership society

Stick to subsidized home ownership (path dependency, more financial means?)

But new ways of using subsidized homeownership dwellings are being proposed:

  • Buy to let constructions

  • Asset-based welfare (government-provided reversed mortgages)

    Quite early and sophisticated anti-eviction policies:

  • Mediation

  • Regional government takes over part of the debt and part of the ownership.

    Fiscal incentives and guarantees for private rental landlords.


Preliminary conclusions
Preliminary conclusions in the Spanish home ownership society

Regional housing policies in Spain can differ significantly from the Spanish national housing policy.

Explanatory factors are the level of economic development and the degree of regional identity.

More research is needed before firmer conclusions can be drawn.


Further research
Further research in the Spanish home ownership society

Make a more quantitative comparison of the various regional housing policies and their impact (budget, numbers etc.).

Include more Spanish regions in the comparison

Compare the developments in Spain with those in Ireland.

Investigate whether the crisis has really changed the attitudes of households towards homeownership.