In Britain in the 1990s households containing almost 1.4 million adults and children had their mortgaged home possessed. A far greater number experienced serious mortgage arrears but managed to avoid possession. The emergence of such levels of unsustainable home ownership has consequences for many areas of social and public policy, including: the economy; public health; social security reform; and family policy.
This book argues that the emergence of unsustainable owner-occupation is emblematic of broader changes in contemporary society associated with the emergence of what commentators such as Beck and Giddens have characterised as a 'risk society'.
Home ownership in a risk society:
provides the first systematic overview of the meaning and implications of a body of research work that has hitherto remained largely fragmented;
argues that the particular conjunction of events which generated the short-term housing crisis of the early 1990s masked a series of more enduring structural changes which have resulted in unsustainable home ownership becoming a more permanent part of the British socio-economic landscape;
uses a wide range of methodological strategies - including in-depth qualitative interviews with adults and children, survey analysis, and the multivariate statistical analysis of large-scale data sets;
paints a rich and detailed empirical picture of the causes, socio-economic distribution and social consequences of mortgage arrears and possessions.
This broad-ranging book is aimed at students, researchers, policy makers and practitioners with an interest in social policy, sociology, human geography, urban studies, housing studies, public health, economics and finance.
Janet Ford is Joseph Rowntree Foundation Professor of Housing Policy and Co-Director of the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York. Roger Burrows is a Reader in Social Policy and Co-Director of the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York. Sarah Nettleton is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of York.
Contents: The risks of home ownership; The 'epidemiology' and 'aetiology' of mortgage arrears and possessions; Owner-occupation and the impact of economic transformations; Unsafe safety-nets; The costs of mortgage arrears and possessions; Experiencing mortgage possession; Mortgage arrears and possessions as public health issues; Summary and conclusions.