Two Steps Forward: Housing Policy into the Next Millennium

Two Steps Forward: Housing Policy into the Next Millennium

Two Steps Forward: Housing Policy into the Next Millennium

Two Steps Forward: Housing Policy into the Next Millennium

Synopsis

While the future shape and direction of housing policy is uncertain, the process of transformation looks set to continue. A wide range of housing policy initiatives emerged during the first term of the New Labour government and 2000 saw the publication of the first major policy statement on housing for over 10 years - the government's much anticipated Housing Green Paper. This book makes a distinctive and innovative contribution to the debate. Bringing together leading scholars from the fields of housing law and housing policy, it aims to engage with the central concerns of policy and to demonstrate that the parallel debates of housing studies and socio-legal studies can be strengthened by a fuller exchange of ideas. Each chapter examines a key theme in contemporary housing policy and seeks to locate policy in relation to broader theoretical debates about the provision of social welfare. Two steps forward is essential reading for academics, students and policy makers with an interest in housing policy and law, as well as students on wider social policy, public administration, policy and management courses.

Excerpt

Dave Cowan and Alex Marsh

There has been an exponential growth in policy debate and development related to, and concerning, housing since the New Labour administration came to power in 1997. Testament to this are the various reports from the Social Exclusion Unit and its Policy Action Teams, Consultation Papers on topics ranging from cowboy builders through to reforms to local authority housing finance, requirements to set up Tenant Participation Compacts, and the publication in 2000 of the first English Green Paper on housing for 23 years. Following a period in which housing academics had been relatively negative regarding the prospects for housing policy – some were even asking whether it had a future – it has moved closer to the heart of policy. This higher priority has been accompanied by a modest increase in central government funding.

This book examines some of the central themes of this panoply of reports and policy statements. We focus on eight issues of contemporary policy concern: housing transfers; housing standards; social housing allocation; tenant participation; anti-social behaviour; Best Value; social sector rent policies; and Housing Benefit and personal subsidy. This is our first aim. Our second aim is to bring an extra dimension to the discussion by pairing writers from the field of housing studies, on the one hand, and socio-legal studies, on the other, and asking them to provide a perspective on a particular policy theme. Not only does this provide two different interpretations of the relevant developments, but we believe that it also highlights the potential for greater collaboration and crossboundary exchange between the two subject areas. There is great potential for cross-fertilisation of ideas, guiding precepts, and theoretical understandings between these areas – a point to which we return in our concluding chapter. the pairing of contributions enables a richer account of each theme to emerge, while simultaneously illustrating that there is . . .

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