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Understanding AffordabilityThe Economics of Housing Markets$
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Geoffrey Meen and Christine Whitehead

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529211863

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529211863.001.0001

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Subsidizing the Supply of Rental Housing

Subsidizing the Supply of Rental Housing

(p.175) 11 Subsidizing the Supply of Rental Housing
Understanding Affordability

Geoffrey Meen

Christine Whitehead

Policy Press

Chapter 11 discusses subsidies to the supply of rental housing. The traditional approach has been to subsidise first local authorities and then housing associations to produce additional social housing. Later the emphasis shifted to introducing private finance and recycling past subsidy to provide a range of affordable housing products. Additionally, the planning system was modified to make it possible to require the provision of affordable housing on residential development sites. Allocation principles have also changed, moving away from accommodating lower-income working households to emphasising provision for vulnerable households of all types. Here we examine the impact of changing financing mechanisms on the capacity to add to the housing stock; the types of provision; and the rents that are charged across the country. We also consider the impact of Right to Buy and other approaches to transferring accommodation between tenures. Finally, we look to comparable international experience.

Keywords:   Subsidies, Rental housing, Local authorities, Housing associations, Private finance, Affordable housing, Right to Buy

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