- Shifting East Asian approaches to home ownership and the housing welfare pillar
- International Journal of Housing Policy
- Volume | Issue number
- 10 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Despite diversity in market and policy frameworks, late twentieth century housing systems across industrialised economies in East Asia became increasingly focused on facilitating home ownership. Governments became characteristically interventionist in the housing sector, which was assumed to play broad economic, political and welfare roles. Despite the influence of the public sector, housing provision was largely commodified rather than de-commodified. Home ownership was perceived to enhance economic development, social solidarity and the asset base of family centred welfare provision. This view was bolstered by house price increases during an era of rapid economic growth. Expanding owner-occupied housing sectors ostensibly offset underdeveloped citizenship rights and public spending, and stimulated increases in middle-class home-owning households, who were provided an economic stake in ‘developmentalist’ government objectives. The Asian Economic Crisis of 1997/98 however, strongly impacted on property markets across the region leading to increasing divergence in approaches to home ownership and welfare provision. This paper examines housing systems and policy regimes in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong to illustrate new strategies that have emerged in the twenty-first century that reflect diversifying orientations towards housing policies and property-based welfare.
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