Housing policy: A case of terminal decline?

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    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Housing policy in Britain in the postwar decades was important, politically, administratively and financially. In the 1980s and 1990s, despite growing academic interest, professionalisation and sophisticated lobbying, housing is manifestly losing out as a policy priority to other areas such as health, social security and law and order. How does one account for this major shift, involving the progressive marginalisation of one of the major pillars of the welfare state? This article will examine a number of major explanations including crude demographics, structural economic change, ideology and electoral arithmetic. By looking at recent fluctuations in policy interest in housing some inferences are drawn on the circumstances which are still capable of bringing housing up the policy agenda. This also raises issues about the relationship between trends, long waves, and cycles in policy analogous to these phenomena in economics. Looking at the situation in other advanced countries casts further light on the general relationship between housing policy and stages of development. The paper concludes by drawing attention to the ways in which key aspects of housing policy have diffused into other adjacent policy arenas where they may attract different labels.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)387-407
    Number of pages21
    JournalPolicy and Politics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 1997


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