Ownership, Control, and the Future of Housing Policy

Ownership, Control, and the Future of Housing Policy

Ownership, Control, and the Future of Housing Policy

Ownership, Control, and the Future of Housing Policy

Synopsis

This comparative study is the first to center on the key issues of homeownership and control today in a number of industrialized countries. Experts from Canada, Great Britain, Russia, and the United States draw a cross-national and interdisciplinary, informed picture of basic issues and values, current trends, and different policy approaches that have been tested in recent years. This overview of various national policies and programs answers some of the most critical questions about hotly contested housing problems.

Excerpt

The chapters in this book are organized around the central theme of the role of ownership and control in the provision of housing. This book was undertaken because of a perceived need to address homeownership as a public policy issue in a comparative perspective. In several countries, government promotion of homeownership has been a major issue, and it deserves careful scholarly scrutiny.

Homeownership as a policy issue can be understood only in the context of the basic value questions it raises. These involve claims that homeownership contributes to both material and psychological autonomy for individuals and that it improves their relationship with society. In order to see how these value questions affect policy, one must examine closely the promise and the results of programs promoting homeownership. One must also look at other public policies that have attempted to confer greater autonomy on individuals with regard to housing. These include participation in collective management and ownership of housing by those living in the housing and by the neighborhoods surrounding it. These measures are defended in terms similar to those used to defend homeownership, and they provide alternative paths to similar goals.

In this introductory essay, basic philosophical issues raised by ownership and control of housing will be discussed and will be linked to the structure of the book and to the essays presented.

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