Housing allowances have become increasingly important policy instruments in the advanced welfare states. Operating at the interface between housing and social security policy, they provide means-tested assistance with housing costs for low income households.
In the present era of fiscal austerity, such schemes are seen by many governments as a more efficient way to help tenants than rent controls or 'bricks and mortar' subsidies to landlords. Yet as the contributions to this collection show, housing allowances are not without problems of their own, especially in relation to housing consumption and work incentives.
This book examines income-related housing allowance schemes in advanced welfare states as well as in transition economies of central and eastern Europe. Drawing on experiences in ten countries, including Britain, Sweden, Germany, Australia and the USA, it presents new evidence on the origins and design of housing allowances; their role within housing and social security policy; their impact on affordability; and current policy debates and recent reforms.
Unique in it's depth of coverage, "Housing Allowances in Comparative Perspective" is essential reading for researchers, students and lecturers in social policy, housing and urban studies.
Peter A. Kemp is the Barnett Professor of Social Policy at the University of Oxford.
Introduction: Housing allowances in context ~ Peter A. Kemp; Housing allowances and the restructuring of the Australian welfare state ~ Kath Hulse; The New Zealand experience of housing allowances ~ David Thorns; Canadian housing allowances ~ Marion Steele; Housing allowances American style: the Housing Choice Voucher Programme ~ Sandra J. Newman; Housing allowances in Britain: a troubled history and uncertain future ~ Peter A. Kemp; Housing allowances in France ~ Madhu Satsangi; Housing allowances in Germany ~ Stefan Kofner; Housing allowances in the Netherlands: the struggle for budgetary controllability ~ Hugo Priemus and Marja Elsinga; Housing allowance systems in Sweden ~ Per Ahren; Housing allowances in the Czech Republic in comparative perspective ~ Martin Lux and Petr Sunega; Housing allowances in the advanced welfare states ~ Peter A. Kemp.