Divergent approaches to affordable housing supply in a devolved policy system: Scotland and England after 2010

Gibb, K. (2021) Divergent approaches to affordable housing supply in a devolved policy system: Scotland and England after 2010. International Journal of Urban Sciences, 25(sup1), pp. 218-240. (doi: 10.1080/12265934.2020.1730935)

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Within the UK, Scotland and England operate largely devolved housing policy systems (this paper does not discuss Welsh housing policy, even though much of the same analysis can and should examine the relative divergence of policy between Wales and England, and convergence with Scotland – but that would need to be another paper). Since the 2010 advent of fiscal austerity, housing policy has diverged significantly with respect to affordable and social housing supply programmes. Scotland has returned to council house building and retained a significant grant-funded programme aimed at delivering supply targets intended to tackle unmet housing need. In England, in contrast, following the Coalition Government’s Affordable Homes Programme, the response has been to greatly diminish social housing programmes and to replace them with less generous ‘affordable’ supply programmes for ownership and rent. This experience masks fundamentally different policy settings and assumptions about the housing problem in each country. This paper will first set out the context and mechanisms of housing policy prior to the switch to deficit reduction and austerity, before briefly outlining the policy instruments and strategies adopted in both countries, contrasting their impacts and outcomes. Second, it will investigate the relative effectiveness of these policies, drawing on a synthesis of critical policy science and public policy literatures. The final section discusses the findings in a forward-looking way and also reflects on possible lessons from housing policy divergence and the analytical tools deployed in this paper.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gibb, Professor Ken
Authors: Gibb, K.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:International Journal of Urban Sciences
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):2161-6779
Published Online:01 March 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Author
First Published:First published in International Journal of Urban Sciences 25(sup1): 218-240
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
300119UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE)Kenneth GibbEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/P008852/1S&PS - Urban Studies