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Local affordable housing dynamics in two global cities: patterns and possible lessons?

Christine M. E. Whitehead and John Goering

International Journal of Urban Sciences, 2021, vol. 25, issue S1, 241-265

Abstract: This paper compares how New York and London, two major global cities, have developed policies and programmes to help ensure affordable housing for their citizens. It clarifies how, starting from relatively limited local regulatory powers in the nineteenth century, each city has used local resources as well as centrally authorized programmes, to create unique mixes of rental housing support, mostly based on instruments that enable sub-market rents. It goes on to discuss how the legacies arising from these interventions, both positive and negative, have influenced affordability in these cities’ current, more internationally open and generally more privatized, housing systems. The relative success of both cities has depended on the management of this pastiche of programmes and financing. Even so, while large proportions of lower income households in both cities (although larger in London) are assisted, there remains significant, and, in current economic circumstances, potentially growing numbers of households, facing unaffordable market rents. In the foreseeable future it can only be an amalgam of these local and nationally supported policies together with local initiatives that can help limit, although not resolve, the continuing problems of ensuring adequate affordable homes for lower income households in both New York and London.

Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1080/12265934.2020.1828147

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