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Fiddling around the edges: mainstream policy responses to the housing crisis since 2016

Glyn Robbins

LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library

Abstract: Despite widespread recognition that housing is a serious social concern, policy responses have tended to be inadequate. After a brief review of the magnitude of the problem, this paper focuses on recent experience in the UK where, during a period of political volatility, housing has been the subject of significant government interventions, which in turn have provoked noteworthy reactions. However, the paper argues that all current mainstream housing policy proposals are limited by their adherence to the failed market model. Instead, a more radical agenda is proposed which draws on the UK’s successful record of public housing. The paper summarises some of the key Conservative government housing policies since 2016 - including the influence of the Grenfell fire - and discusses the Labour Party’s response. It particularly critiques the policies of London Mayor Sadiq Khan which relegate traditional council housing in favour of more income-targeted provision. A high-profile report by the housing charity Shelter is also considered because of its apparent reluctance to include explicit reference to council housing within its recommendations, at a time when, it is argued, there is renewed interest in non-market housing alternatives.

Keywords: council housing; Housing policy; Sadiq Khan; Shelter; the Labour Party (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J01 R14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 13 pages
Date: 2020-11-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pke and nep-ure
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Published in Critical Social Policy, 1, November, 2020, 40(4), pp. 649-661. ISSN: 0261-0183

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