- Magical or monstrous? Hybridity in social housing governance: Understanding market oriented reforms of social rental housing
- Award date
- 27 May 2014
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
For much of the 20th century, state agencies were central to the provision of welfare state services in Western democracies. In its final decades, however, radical reforms placed the state in a facilitative role, incentivizing private not-for-profit and commercial actors to deliver programs of social assistance in education, income support, health and housing. While these reforms have often been rationalised in terms of complementary blends of social responsibility and commercial innovation, their differing international iterations and long-term impacts remain poorly understood. This study examines how market-oriented reforms have played out within supply-side rental housing assistance, impacting ‘public’ and ‘social’ rental housing, and giving rise to ‘affordable’ rental. It departs from the view that despite reforms, the dualisms of ‘state and market’ and ‘public and private sectors’ retain empirical relevance and analytical power. Through comparisons made across different welfare states and at multiple levels of action, market-oriented arrangements for provision of subsidized rental housing are explored as ‘hybrid’ constructs, working across the threshold of public and private sectors. Findings show that while market oriented reforms may create opportunities for trade and systemic efficiencies; the hybrid constructs they bring forth are subject to multiple accountabilities. They may transgress the boundaries of public and private realms, leading to problems of legitimacy for the state. Social outcomes may be compromised or traded away to commercial interests. Rather than a blend of complementary attributes, these market-oriented reforms are best understood in terms of trade-offs between conflicting agendas and action logics in the housing market.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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