Half of those living in poverty in Britain today are home owners. Yet current government policy is not oriented to this reality. Drawing on data from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's Poverty and Social Exclusion Survey of Britain, this report presents a detailed picture of the realities of home ownership at the margins and provides evidence in support of the need for radical changes in policy towards sustainable home ownership. It:
* examines the relationship between poverty and home ownership in contemporary Britain;
* analyses the Poverty and Social Exclusion Survey - a data source expressly designed for the purposes of measuring poverty;
* concludes that we need to rethink dominant perceptions about poverty and housing tenure; and
* makes the case for the need to re-evaluate the role of the state in assisting with housing costs.
The report's findings are important reading for housing and social policy academics and analysts, and policy makers working at the interface of housing and social security policy. Mortgage lenders will also find the report valuable reading, as will anyone interested in housing and poverty.
Roger Burrows is Professor of Social Policy and Co-Director of the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York. He has published widely on the sociology of housing and neighbourhoods, health, and social aspects of information and communication technologies. His most recent book is the co-authored Home ownership in a risk society (The Policy Press, 2001).
Introduction; The Poverty and Social Exclusion Survey of Britain; Measuring poverty; The sociodemographic correlates of poverty; The characteristics of home owners who are in poverty; Poverty profiles: differences between poor home owners and the poor living in other tenures; Differences in the nature of poverty between the tenures; Poverty outcomes: (how) does tenure make a difference?; Concluding comments.