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GGR 357 H1F Geography of Housing and Housing Policy


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Title: GGR 357 H1F Geography of Housing and Housing Policy

GGR 357 H1F Geography of Housing and Housing
Session 9 June 16, 2008 The meanings of home
and attitudes towards homeownership
  • Paper due this Friday before 5pm
  • Drop box _at_ Office of the Department of Geography
  • Both digital version (MS WORD only) and hard copy
  • Make sure it is clear that it is for Amanda
    Helderman and that it is term work for GGR357H1F
  • Summer job/ hard to make the deadline?
  • You learned about this date on May 12. You have
    signed up for this course so should be committed
    to your education
  • You could turned it in earlier if Friday is
    inconvenient for you
  • E-mail digital copy
  • Fax hard copy 416-946-3886, make sure it is
    clear that it is for Amanda Helderman and that it
    is term work for GGR357H1F
  • Late penalty 5 per day.

  • Many meanings of home
  • Many meanings of homeownership
  • Alternative meanings of the home
  • such as economic activities in the home
  • Societal developments (individualism)
  • Implications for the place housing takes in
    personal lives
  • Understanding the meaning of home in developing
    countries and for immigrants
  • Consequences for residential relocations, housing
    preferences, and search behaviour

Meanings of home
  • Definitions of housing according to Bourne,
    Dieleman etc.
  • Physical aspects shelter, bricks and mortar
  • Economic good or commodity housing can be
    exchanged, has value
  • Investment good or asset (wealth)
  • Sector of the economy
  • Social or collective good home base/ node in
    social networks access to other services
  • Building block of neighbourhoods and communities
  • Bundle of services ?

Bundle of services
  • Physical facility
  • Shelter
  • Consumption of services public, schools,
    environment etc.
  • Location/ accessibility

Housing services
  • Shelter from the elements
  • Value or wealth ? equity for owners
  • Shelter from taxes (capital)
  • Accessibility to services (e.g. schools), work,
  • Social status
  • Rights to privacy, exclusion

  • Material dimensions
  • Spatial dimensions
  • Meaningful dimensions

Material dimensions
  • Physical state
  • State of repair
  • Biological/ Chemical exposure
  • Costs

Spatial dimensions
  • Immediate environment
  • Proximity to schools, recreation, health
    services, employment opportunities

Meaningful dimensions
  • Permanence/ stability
  • Social status (housing tenure)
  • Prestige
  • Pride
  • Identity
  • Saunders, 1990
  • Place to venture out into the world
  • Place of economic activity

New functions of the home as a place for work or
business (Ventakesh et al., 2003)
  • Activity Centre (household chores)
  • Entertainment Centre (computer games, TV)
  • Work Centre (telecommuting, working at home,
    home-based businesses)
  • Communication Centre (phone, E-mail)
  • Shopping/ Financial Centre (e-shopping)

New functions of the home as a place for work or
  • Family Interaction Centre (meeting place for
    household members)
  • Information Centre (obtaining info from media)
  • Learning Centre (e-learning)

Societal developments
  • Cultural changes
  • Sociological changes Individualism (increased
    autonomy of individuals, both in and outside the
  • Labour market developments
  • Longer working hours increasingly difficult to
    combine work with household tasks for many
  • Status longer work hours to make more money (rat

Role patterns
  • Trade off families negotiations about tasks in
    the household
  • Rigid families traditional role patterns

Labour market developments
  • Changing labour markets
  • Flexibility increasing short term labour
  • Not constantly participating in the labour
    market sabbatical year, not always enough work
    in certain sectors of the economy
  • Increasing pressure on the job
  • Combining different tasks of dual earners
  • Flexible working hours, flextime
  • More autonomous approach to work
  • More self-employment (start in 50-85 of cases at

Economic activities in the home
  • Start-ups
  • Limited costs, no search costs necessary
  • Limited risks, knowledge of the area
  • Easy to start, no search efforts necessary
  • Home as an incubator for businesses

Historical approach
  • Before the industrial revolution, the home was in
    most cases the place where people spend both
    their work hours and their leisure time
  • During and after the industrial revolution, the
    home became the place where people solely ate and
  • The new millennium fast growth of technological
    possibilities such as high-speed Internet making
    telecommuting possible

Spatial implications of home based businesses
  • Home more strongly becomes the centre of the
    entrepreneurs/ households daily urban living
  • Work, recreation, social activities all have the
    home as the central node
  • The home is the starting point of many activities
    but also the place to venture out into the world
    to undertake various activities

  • Problem many competing tasks, in household
    career and in labour career
  • The home as the hub in a network of frequently
    visits nodes work place, school, family,
    friends, shopping, recreation...
  • There are limits in time and space to what a
    person can do in a day and thus on a regular basis

  • Constraints who limit human activity in time and
  • Capability constraints (you cant be in multiple
    locations at the same time)
  • Coupling constraints (combination of work, care
    and leisure time may be difficult)
  • Authority constraints (not everyone is allowed to
    go everywhere at any time opening hours,

Home based businesses as a solution to time and
place pressures
  • Combining tasks made easier
  • Time efficiency of working at home (also a cost
    aspect in a way)
  • Limited travel time
  • Low housing costs for business (often a reason
    for starting a business at home)

What type of businesses?
  • Activities that do not require that much floor
    space (indoors) Compare driving schools, other
  • Many invisible home-based businesses book
    keeping in the attic
  • Amount of floor space use is correlated with
    ambition level and growth of the company

What type of businesses?
  • Smaller average income than salaried workers
  • Often older households/ individuals
  • Duration of residence long
  • Business and personal services. Financial advice
  • Knowledge sector of the economy
  • Taxi drivers
  • Few have proper plans to grow beyond the
    home-based business, the situation seems to be
    born from the convenience of easily combining
    tasks inside and outside the home
  • Also many agrarians

What do the homes look like
  • Great diversity in types of homes that house
    home-based businesses
  • Many are not recognizable as a business
  • Small software agencies who work for another
    companies may have a small sign on the building
    but nothing else
  • Galleries, nail studios etc who rely on their
    clientele to visit them, may be a bit more
  • If they are visible, they often also are situated
    in a highly visible location relative to roads
    and to other buildings

Rules and regulations
  • Threshold levels lt30 of area home
  • No polluting activities in residential areas
  • Many older neighbourhoods are simply designed for
    residential purposes only (the legacy of rules
    and regulations from the past)
  • Not all government bodies are flexible enough to
    renew building permits where necessary

Implications for planners
  • Diversity
  • Mix of functions within home and within
    neighbourhood purposes should be complementary
  • Prevention of functionally segregated
    neigbhourhoods in urban centres
  • Social cohesion and turnover
  • Liveliness (social safety or at least a sense of
  • Vitality
  • Better threshold population/ market for services
    in the neighbourhood

Implications for developers and planners
  • Helpful for planning neighbourhoods?
  • Multi-functional building methods
  • Flexible building techniques (high ceilings, easy
    to make additions, moveable walls)
  • Multiple uses of space
  • Existing structure in neighbourhoods determine
    the extent to which home-based businesses are
    succesful enough space for entrepreneurship, not
    just for residential functions
  • Tenure structure enough property in private hands

Implications for developers and planners
  • Synergy possible if there are meeting places for
    entrepreneurs face-to-face
  • Service points
  • Time share offices (meeting customers)
  • Specific building styles of multi-functional
  • Separate entrance for household members and
  • Flexible rooms/ ceilings

Implications for developers and planners
  • Individual design
  • Flexibility in design (family expansion or
    business expansion, continuously renewed building
  • So far demand from municipalities, not from

Location specific capital
  • Hinders home based businesses to be footloose
  • Suppliers
  • Sunk investments (machines, adapting home for
    business activities)
  • Friends, family, local suppliers
  • Personal business contacts

Location specific capital
  • Keep-factors
  • Embeddedness (Granovetter, 1985)
  • Intangible assets hard to take with you to a new
    place (RISK!)
  • Consequence searching locally, minimizing risk.
    Relocation decision not only household decision
    but also a business decision!

Neo-classical approach to entrepreneurship
  • Homo Economicus
  • Maximizing profit
  • Minimize costs
  • Perfect knowledge/ information
  • Maximizer

Behavioural approach
  • Homo psychologicus
  • Decisions are made in an only partly rational
  • Satisfier

  • Home based businesses generally less satisfied
    with housing for company than businesses located
    outside the home
  • Hard to keep work and private separate

Consequences for search and relocation behaviour
  • Only 7 of home-based businesses is looking to
    relocate within 5 years
  • Some studies report 20 are expecting to relocate
    within 2 years, only 10 have concrete plans
    (less than household relocation!)
  • Not many home-based businesses generally foresee
    a move in the near future
  • Entrepreneurs more often have housing reasons as
    a motive for moving than business reasons

Relocation behaviour
  • If the plans to move are business decisions,
    entrepreneurs do not necessarily want to remain
    home based
  • Attachment to the home often prevents the
    business relocation plan to be carried out
  • More than half of all home-based businesses who
    want to relocate, want to stay home-based

Relocation behaviour
  • Sunk investments (machines, adapting home for
    business activities) are assumed to represent
    location specific capital that is known to act as
    a keep factor
  • But specific investments in the home for the
    business generally do not make a business more
    likely to stay in the same place than other
    businesses who have not made such investments
    while household situation, children do!
  • Entrepreneurs demand few specific housing
    characteristics for their business size!

Relocation behaviour
  • A need for space to expand is a push factor
  • Housing characteristics may also be push factors
  • A small home, a rented home, an apartment all
    make relocation more likely

Search behaviour
  • Home region is appreciated more than other nearby
    regions neighbourhood effect
  • Where the entrepreneur is from may be the most
    deciding factor in deciding on a location for the
  • Less search costs if entrepreneur focuses on
    his/her own region
  • Searching in own region minimizes risk
  • Starters are strongly dependent on home
    advantage local external resources (friends,
    family, knowledge of suppliers etc.), does not
    automatically lead to optimal location choice

Changes in search behaviour
  • Location advantages may change during the
    business life course
  • At the start, a company is less pre-occupied with
    the question where the business will locate and
    more with how to finance, the product, the
    market, rules and regulations, permits, and
    perhaps employees
  • Once started at home, the home often remains
    popular, even if the business (/household!)

In conclusion about home-based businesses
  • Location specific investments mostly play a role
    on the household level (schools children) and
    less on the business level (sunk costs)
  • Most want to continue as a home-based business
    after a potential relocation
  • This suggests that having a home-based business
    is a life style choice rather than an economic
  • The characteristics of the home also are
    important anchors in neighbourhood economies
    seem to be owner-occupied and large enough to
    accommodate a household and a small business

Developing countries
  • Extremely common to have a home-based business in
    many countries in the Third World
  • Informal-sector activities
  • Cooking, arts and crafts

Home-based businesses in Third World countries
  • More emphasis on shelter
  • One in four families use their home for other
    activities than just shelter (economic!)
  • Many families only have one room at their
  • Crowding is a common problem
  • Virtually all sectors are represented in the
    informal economy, except heavy industry
  • Female-headed households and larger households
    with older, less-educated heads are most likely
    to use their home for income generation
  • Important for immigration countries

Rules and regulations in Third World countries
  • Also surprisingly many parallels when it comes to
    official zoning
  • In compound houses however, these are largely
    ignored because of the scale of the phenomenon
    and lack of enforcement
  • Gvts. deter movers from buying homes if it is
    known that they will want the housing for income
  • If home-based businesses were condoned and
    recognized in building codes and regulations, it
    would make it easier to build housing

Many parallels between both worlds
  • Home-based businesses in the Third World also are
    most often based in larger homes, although
    quality of homes with home-based businesses are
    not as good as regular homes
  • Businesses are location specific
  • Life style choice/ Way of life
  • Decision to move involves not only household
    decision or business decision, but both!

Meanings of homeownership
  • Both in the Western world and the Third World,
    home-based businesses and other such alternative
    meanings of the home are attached to
    owner-occupied homes
  • Stability
  • Long-term commitment
  • Build-up of equity

Levels of homeownership ()
1991 1996 2001
Montréal 46.7 48.5 50.2
Vancouver 57.5 59.4 61.0
Toronto 57.9 58.4 63.2
Ontario 63.7 64.3 67.8
Canada 62.6 63.6 65.8
From census 1991, 1996, 2001 2006 Statistics
Meanings of homeownership
  • Approximately 68 homeownership in Canada in 2006
  • Free market principle dominant in Canada, so
    important to discuss alternative meanings to
    homeownership from the ones we have discussed in
    previous sessions
  • Which were

Individual advantages to homeownership
  • Building up equity from a home
  • Housing quality/ Neighbourhood quality
  • Customized aspects/ alterations
  • Control of individual housing situation/
  • Continuity/ stability
  • Status
  • Emotional value

Individual disadvantages to homeownership
  • Financial risk housing market
  • Financial risk labour market position
  • Responsibility for maintenance
  • Impedes residential relocations
  • Financial commitment
  • Transaction costs
  • Sense of security, personal environment
  • Emotional attachment
  • Stable households

Advantages of homeownership for governments
  • Stimulate individuals building up equity from
    their homes
  • Stimulate capital markets
  • Increase supply of higher quality, owner-occupied
    housing stock
  • More adequate match of supply and demand
  • Flexibility of labour markets? (Oswald, 1999
    Helderman, 2006)

More links with the labour market
  • Housing has a strong link with the labour market
  • Since the Second World War, homeownership has
    gained popularity at a steady pace in most
  • In 1989, a down-turn in the market took place
    high levels of arrears, stagnant or falling
    housing prices, and negative equity, particularly
    in the United Kingdom
  • Bad personal experiences
  • Structural changes occurring in most labour

Homeownership and the labour market
  • Three perspectives of changing perceptions of
  • Cyclical model Features of a depressed market
    are temporary cyclical phenomena that restore
    when the economy recovers
  • Pathological model explains changing perception
    like a cyclical phenomena, not only based on
    changes in the economy, but also on personal
    history/ experiences (personal misfortune)
  • Combination of the above with a different
    outcome, because there are structural changes

Structural changes in the labour market
  • Result from global competitive technical changes,
    the implementation of government policies to
    secure great deregulation, and so flexibility in
    the labour market
  • Increased opportunities for women
  • Loss of full-time jobs
  • Self-employment
  • These minimized challenge for homeownership as an
    ideal, but they represented a turning point for
    mortgagors reassessment of their attitudes to
    owning and being able to pay

Labour market and housing market
  • The reason why work and housing is so interwoven
    is that stability of (future) income is important
    for the long-term commitment that a mortgage
  • Links were found between attitudes towards
    homeownership, the current economic position of
    people, personal experiences, unemployment, and
    their expectations of the economic future
  • Not all periods of recession are found to be
    accompanied by less favourable attitudes toward

Labour market and housing market
  • Periods of recession that were not accompanied by
    less favourable attitudes toward homeownership
    and a recovery of these came with larger and more
    structural changes
  • This points at the third perspective of changing
    perceptions of homeownership
  • Attitudes to homeownership are thus not only
    potentially influenced by access to employment
    and income, they may also be affected by security
    and stability of income

Security and stability of income
  • Trends temporary casual employment, short-term
    contracts, self-employment, propensity to
    unemployment, duration of unemployment, number of
    periods of unemployment
  • Structural and cyclical changes interact with
    each other, which makes it very difficult to
    determine how the processes work
  • Personal characteristics aging people do not
    like the responsibility of maintenance e.g.

Consequences of changing labour markets
  • Homeownership will remain popular, but may be
    less attractive at times
  • Arrears and repossessions may increase at times
  • Perhaps a resurgence of a demand for renting will
  • People would like to place capital in other forms
    of investment

Saunders and the meaning of home
  • The most important meaning of home that Saunders
    mostly focuses on in his book A nation of
    homeowners is the desire of people to own a
    desire for its own sake
  • Control of own housing situation (emotional
    expression of autonomy)
  • Respectability and status (Personal identity!)
  • Security (against unemployment)
  • Housing as an investment, securing an income in

A desire for its own sake
  • Deep-seated and natural disposition to possess
    key objects in the immediate and personal
    environment, although such explanations are
    rarely even considered in the social sciences ()

Three different types of meaning of home
  • Coldly rational meaning (wealth, control,
    autonomy, income)
  • Deeply emotional meaning (security, personal
  • Set of cultural values (desire for possession
    nurtured and sustained in cultural tradition)

Saunders and the meaning of home
  • Independent of other people (classes)
  • Blurring of class cleavages
  • Search for respectability and status
  • Homeownership grew at the expense of private
    rented sector first and public sector second
  • Housing represents both a means of shelter and a
    store of wealth

Reason for increases of homeownership after WWII
  • Referred to by Saunders as the homeownership
    revolution or counter-revolution of possession
    during and following the process of
    industrialization and urbanization
  • Rising real incomes and dual earners coupled
  • the availability of mortgage funds/ interest
    rates, size of deposits, terms over which
    mortgage could be repaid

Reason for increases of homeownership after WWII
  • Landlords selling out to sitting tenants
  • Cultural, economic and political factors explain
    spatial variations in the percentage of
  • Falling cost of housing construction
  • Increased number of women participating on the
    labour market
  • Family class identity breaking down, traditional
    proletariat disappearing
  • Political will to support homeownership (pressure
    from council tenants, according to Saunders)

Reason for increases of homeownership after WWII
  1. Growth of building societies and collapse of
    private renting
  2. Demographic changes (growth, marriage younger)
  3. Rising affluence (real incomes increased and so
    did dual earner households)
  4. Government financial support
  5. Popular values and expectations

Increase of homeownership
  • Saunders does not deny the effect of gvt support
    for homeownership or the role of economic
    fluctuation, but he doesnt feel like this is the
    most important factor for increase in

Homeownership is as a natural goal?
  • Saunders defies all possible arguments for
    deliberately manipulating the working class into
  • Would go against assumption that homeownership is
    a natural goal for people!

Homeownership is as a natural goal?
  • Ideological effects of homeownership are
    encouraged to establish social stability and
    future political support
  • Create and reinforce divisions among the working
    class (easier to manage, no strong unions)
  • Long term debt would discourage any activity
    against employers
  • Encourages workers to withdraw from collective
    life and turn attention to home and the family
  • Creates a mass market for consumers (housing as a
    sector of the economy)

Arguments Saunders for homeownership as a natural
  • Government has not intervened in the period of
    the fastest growth of homeownership
  • Before the war it was the middle class rather
    than the working class moving into homeownership
    and the middle class never posed a threat to
    social stability and the economic order
  • Saunders book was highly criticized when it was
    first published, one-sided view
  • Still very often cited work!

Consequences for search and relocation behaviour
  • Saunders perceives the ownership of the home as
    something that the owner-occupier is deeply
    committed to by the ownership itself, and by the
    values he or she attaches to control, autonomy,
    identity, security and investment
  • These values invoke attachment to the home and
    therefore are expected to inhibit residential


GGR 357 H1F Geography of Housing and Housing
  • Session 10
  • June 18, 2008
  • What should be the role of the state and other
    actors in the public domain?

Is housing on the radar of governments?
  • Many countries government influence in the
    housing market straightforward
  • Shape of action usually providing social
  • Canadian situation
  • The market mechanism is dominant
  • Few social housing units
  • But many challenges, housing issues on local and
    federal levels such as housing affordability

Is housing on the radar of governments?
Source Legislative Assembly Australia
Is housing on the radar of governments?
  • Is it the governments responsibility to
    provide some protection for things the market
    place is saying were not interested in? I dont
    think so.
  • Floyd Kvamme, presidents Advisory Council on
    Science and Technology

Why interfere in the market?
  • Two perspectives of being critical of providing
    social housing in the Canadian situation
  • If the market forms the main mechanism on the
    housing market, why interfere? Believe in the
  • If it is agreed upon that housing needs of all
    should be met in the market, but the market
    drives up prices so that some groups are pushed
    out of the housing market because not enough
    affordable housing is provided by the market

Three purposes for public intervention
  • Allocation
  • Stabilization
  • Growth and redistribution

Major issues for implementing housing policy
  • Priority given to housing policy
  • Direct or indirect subsidies for housing
  • Level of intervention (housing value, income
  • Location incentives (y/n) for low-income
  • Administrative question which level of
  • Administrative methods and techniques need to
    achieve housing objectives

Why take the responsibility?
  • Individual well-being/ Population well-being
  • Electorate/media outcry
  • Economic growth disposable income, access to
    employment, health, and inclusion are issues that
    need to be addressed to foster economic growth
  • Childrens health and well-being the new
    generations future education, expectations,
    social engagement, and sense of responsibility in
    the community are impacted
  • Housing is a human right (Universal Declaration
    of Human Rights ?)

Access to human rights other than housing
  • Essential for promotion of sustainable urban
    development, human development and social
  • Human development, a process of enlarging
    peoples choices, leads to further realization of
    all human rights economic, social, cultural,
    civil, and political
  • Individual and community well-being are
    intertwined, and human development requires
    strong social cohesion and equitable distribution
    of the benefits of progress to avoid tension
    between the two
  • Sustainable housing policy is one that creates a
    socially just housing system

International context of housing policy
  • (See Ch. 27 Gilbert)
  • Paragraph 11(1) of the International covenant on
    Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1976
  • The present covenant recognizes the right of
    everyone to an adequate standard of living for
    himself and his family, including adequate food,
    clothing and housing, and to the continuous
    improvement of living conditions. The state
    parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the
    realization of this right.

International context of housing policy
  • 2. Article 22 of the Universal Declaration of
    Human Rights - 1948 (binding rights since 1966)
  • everyone is entitled to the economic, social
    and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity
    and the free development of his personality
  • Paragraph 25(1) of United Nations Universal
    Declaration of Human Rights
  • everyone has the right to a standard of living
    adequate for the health and wellbeing of himself
    and of his family, including food, clothing,
    housing, and medical care and necessary social
    services, and the right to security in the event
    of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood,
    old age or other lack of livelihood in
    circumstances beyond his control

International context of housing policy
  • 3. United Nations Housing Rights Programme, 2002
  • UN-Habitat Office of the United Nations High
    Commissioner for Human Rights
  • The programme aims to undertake action to ensure
    that governments take appropriate action to
    promote, protect and ensure realization of the
    right to adequate housing

(No Transcript)
Realization of the right to adequate housing
  • Packages of policies and practices rather than
    single right
  • Ensuring secure tenure
  • Preventing illegal and mass evictions
  • Removing all forms of discrimination
  • Promoting participation
  • Gender equity
  • Freedom of information, especially with regard to
    land markets

  • Many laws and regulations in place, but not
    always implemented and enforced
  • Often more a statement of social and political
    intention than a feasible objective in the
    foreseeable future
  • Shift focus to rented segment of the market
  • Owning is not the most logical option at every
    stage of the life course
  • Many levels of study and several levels of
    government that do not always match
  • Many issues on housing markets are observable on
    a local level, but hard to study and address on a
    federal level
  • Make implementing and enforcing the right to
    housing realistic

Challenge 2 Why more attention for rented
  • Offers choice/ mobility
  • Provides accommodation for low income households
    and households who do not qualify for housing
  • Contributes to economic development through
    property development
  • Sustains ownership through sub-letting
  • May improve urban areas through facilitating
    urban renewal
  • Can have a positive effect on female economic

Challenge 4 Implementing and enforcing the right
to housing
  • Housing rights Legislation - UN-Habitat
  • Arrange security of tenure in informal housing
  • Protect people from forced eviction
  • Prevent discrimination
  • Provide affordable housing for the poor
  • Arrange accessibility for the disabled
  • Address housing restitution
  • Focus on habitability
  • Target homelessness
  • Address land rights

Housing tasks in Canada
  • Basis of housing policy from the 1960s till the
    mid-1980s has been a focus on the human right to
    adequate housing for all Canadians
  • Canada has acknowledged the right to housing, and
    has implemented it, but Canada is not enforcing
    it as well as suggested by UN-Habitat

Canadas track record
  • Canadians enjoy a singularly high standard of
    living and Canada has the capacity to achieve a
    high level of respect for all Covenant rights
  • Absence of an official poverty line make it
    difficult to hold the federal, provincial and
    territorial governments accountable to their
    obligations under the Covenant
  • Governments policies have denied people and their
    children adequate food, clothing and housing
  • Inadequate legal protection of womens rights

Canadas track record
  • Aboriginal peoples housing with a lack of safe
    and adequate drinking water and dwellings in need
    of major repair for lack of basic amenities
  • Fewer low-income families are eligible for
  • Canada has allowed the problem of homelessness
    and inadequate housing to grow to such
    proportions that the mayors of Canadas ten
    largest cities declared homelessness a national
  • Income assistance (provincial social assistance
    and other) have clearly not been enough to cover
    rental costs for the poor

Canadas track record
  • Limited availability of affordable housing
    creates obstacles for women to escape domestic
  • Minimum wage is not sufficient to have an
    adequate standard of living
  • Exacerbated poverty during times of economic
  • 20 of Canadas population is functionally
  • Recommendations national programme with
    designated cash transfers for social assistance
    and social services, establish an official
    poverty line, federal and provincial agreements
    to better ensure adequate standards of living

Federal housing tasks
  • CMHC
  • Ministry of Human Resources and Social
    Development (responsible for CMHC)
  • Ministry of Public Works and Government Services
  • Neither ministries have proper responsibility for
    housing, due to the constitutional responsibility
    for housing

Federal level bills and acts
  • Bill C-416 House of Commons of Canada, 2001
  • Housing Bill of Rights, effective 2003
  • Protecting human rights by providing adequate,
    accessible and affordable housing and security in
    its enjoyment, to be achieved by adopting
    financial policies and the establishment of a
    national housing strategy

Housing Bill of Rights Adequate
  • Legal security of tenure
  • Availability of services, materials, facilities,
  • Affordability
  • Habitability
  • Accessibility
  • Location
  • Cultural adequacy

Housing Bill of Rights 2001
  • Right to security of tenure against arbitrary
  • Right to appropriate housing (special needs)
  • Right to safe and healthy environment
  • Right to home free of violence, threat of
    violence or other harassment
  • Right to enjoy respect of privacy
  • Right to economic security resulting from
    protection of rent increases, property tax
    increases or other housing cost increases that
  • Sudden or excessive
  • Intended to yield unreasonable profit
  • Having the effect of diminishing the other rights

Enforcement Housing Bill of Rights
  • Anyone that contravenes, threatens or takes away
    an individual right
  • Fine of not more than 5000 for first offence
  • Fine of not more than 10,000 or imprisonment for
    not more than 6 months, or both, for second or
    subsequent offence
  • Threatening the rights of more than one
    individual constitutes a seperate offence in
    respect to each individual

Implementing Housing Bill of Rights
  • Responsible Minister of Public Works and
    Government Services
  • Develop and adopt policies to ensure that the
    cost of housing in Canada does not prevent or
    threaten the attainment and satisfaction of other
    basic needs
  • Policies must provide for financial assistance
    for rent for those who otherwise are not able to
    afford the right to rental housing established in
    this act and availability of finance and credit
    without discrimination
  • Effective monitoring of vulnerable and
    disadvantaged groups

Implementing Housing Bill of Rights
  • Minister must develop and adopt a national
    housing conference strategy and programs to carry
    it out
  • Adequate, affordable, accessible and not for
    profit housing in case of those who cannot
    otherwise afford it
  • Housing should reflect the needs of local
  • ...and should not cost more than 30 of the
    occupants pre-tax income

Provincial housing tasks - Ontario
  • Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • Minister John Gerretsen (2003-2007) -gt
  • Jim Watson (2007- present)
  • Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program
    Agreement (until 2009, fed election year)
  • Rent supplements and Housing Allowances
  • Rental and supportive housing
  • Northern housing
  • Homeownership
  • The Residential Tenancies Act (2006) replacing
    the Tenant Protection Act (1997)
  • Landlord and Tenant Board replaces the Ontario
    Rental Housing Tribunal on January 31, 2007

Provincial housing tasks - Ontario
  • Ontario Mortgage and Housing Initiative Resource
  • Social Housing Reform Act, 2000
  • Social Housing Business
  • Research analysis
  • Housing research
  • (often carried out by researchers
  • at universities)
  • Monitoring the affordable rented supply

Municipal housing tasks
  • Toronto's Affordable Housing Action Plan
  • Mayors Housing Summits 2002 2004
  • Research and monitoring
  • Affordable Housing Committee
  • Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program
  • Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program

Some of the City of Torontos housing
Roles of governments
  • Financiers
  • Insurers
  • Regulators
  • Speculators
  • Administrators
  • Builders
  • Landlords
  • Destroyers

Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program
CAN Financier Insurer Regulator
ON FinancierRegulator
TO FinancierAdministrator(Builder)
Local solutions...
  • Due to the many levels of government and the
    decentralization of the responsibility for
    housing, it is possible that solutions on the
    individual level contributes to a loss of control
    on the federal level
  • Policy drift
  • On a local level, it is easier to identify
    housing issues and come to a local solution

Different circumstances/ context
  • Different ways of intervention in different
    circumstances and different policy instruments
    may still lead to the same housing issues

Northwestern Europe
  • Traditionally interventionist compared with North
  • While leaving developments largely up to the
    market may lead to a lack of affordable housing,
    intervening in housing policy may have the same

Example of the Netherlands
  • Since the Second World War a change from a free
    market mechanism to close control by government
  • Modest decentralization zoning authorities,
    design and implementation of building codes,
    condemning buildings
  • Passive controls
  • Proliferation of policies and programs seems to
    have done little to alleviate existing inequities
  • Supply side reactions of investors/owners
    contradict housing policy goals
  • Demand side resort to own ingenuity to acquire
    accommodation at an affordable price

After WWII
  • Temporary emergency controls to deal with
    quantitative housing shortage
  • New construction almost had come to a halt
  • Many homes destroyed by war action

Instruments after WWII
  • Controls on investment, prices, wages economic
  • Rent controls housing considered essential for
    the success of economic policy
  • Modest construction saving capital for scarce
  • Large loans to nonprofit housing, realizing a
    record high output of low-income rental units
  • Cost-reduction subsidies for construction tempted
    investors to build

Instruments after WWII
  • Would be homeowners were tempted with grants
  • The subsidized sector boomed, while the
    non-subsidized private sector decreased
  • Compensation of negative cash flows for investors
  • Quota system for regional inequalities allotted
    construction permits in proportion to housing
  • Successful policy! Production surpassed the

Exogenous changes
  • Demographic
  • Income
  • Housing shortage thus became more political
  • Rents for existing homes increased slowly
  • Rents for new homes increased more rapidly due to
    high construction costs
  • Mismatch between housing costs for new and
    established households
  • Mobility rates depressed, low level of turnover
  • Qualitative housing shortage

Advantages of large social rented sector
  • Large social rented sector remained an acceptable
  • Good reputation for a mixed group
  • Less stigmatization than in countries with a very
    small social rented sector

  • Qualitative shortage diminished which made
    deregulation possible
  • Controls were lifted in increasing number of
  • Return to free market system to decrease burden
    of housing subsidies that weighed heavily on
    government budget
  • Controls not abandoned immediately pricing and
    subsidy systems made more attractive for private

  • Even though the market weakened at the end of the
    1960s, the construction boom was sustained by
    giving out permits for subsidized housing to be
    realized by the private sector
  • This delivered monotonous residential areas with
    high rise multi-family homes, a slowly increasing
    vacancy rate and a diminishing housing shortage

  • Deregulation was halted because of political
  • Expensive dwellings de-controlled
  • Spatial mismatch between vacancies and housing
  • Newly completed buildings are too expensive b/c
    rising construction utility costs and
    increasing interest rates
  • Investors negative cash flows is no longer
    compensated, so they have three options

Options investors
  • Upgrade property
  • Convert to deregulated, expensive housing
  • Liquidate portfolios

  • The quantitative shortage is overcome
  • Vacancy rate beyond 2 ?
  • Qualitative shortage rising?
  • Squatting
  • No extensive subsidies and little new
  • Condo-conversion is a concern because owners may
    not lead as much to social stability, equity and
    property maintenance as people think. Regulation
    by permits

In conclusion
  • The completion of many moderately priced homes of
    relatively high standards, improved the housing
    situation of low medium income households
  • This has been a major achievement of this
    governments policy
  • Had government not intervened, the housing
    shortage would have led to high house prices
    which would have forced a drop in construction
    for low-income groups

Motivation for intervention
  • Economic recovery was the motivation for
    intervention. The motive to keep intervening was
    the unbalanced market. Housing was also
    considered important in the functioning of
    society. A shift to the private market would have
    brought about other issues
  • Intervention on behalf of lower-income groups is
    possible, but at a price. The majority of the
    Dutch population accepts that price

Differences and parallels
  • Diff The Dutch have shown an active involvement
    in allocation of housing, have contributed more
    funding and priority to housing policy, which was
    historically determined
  • Parall Many similar issues as in Canada have
    played a role such as conversion of rented
    housing, substandard housing quality, emergence
    of social segregation, qualitative shortage of
    housing, inadequate subsidy systems to face
  • Most European countries have a policy of
    large-scale intervention
  • But serious problems persist despite this

  • Neither interventionist strategy, nor free market
    approach deals successfully with ALL HOUSING
  • Housing remains a persistent and divisive social
    issue in all Western countries, even though they
    are circumstantially and subjectively defined
  • All countries have problems with their
    qualitative housing stock
  • Failures of the market?
  • Originated in government intervention?

REVIEW How to study for the exam
  • Focus a bit more on the sessions after the
  • Slides should tell you which of the readings are
    most important
  • A bit more literature related questions than last
  • Identify overlap between slides and readings and
    focus on those (sub)topics

6 processes of neighbourhood change
  • Occupancy turnover and the movements of
    households within the housing stock
  • Filtering process and changes in housing quality
  • Housing and neighbourhood change arbitrage
  • Progression of housing vacancies through the
    stock (vacancy chains)
  • Spatial variations in house price changes
  • Revitalization and the return-to-the-city
    movement gentrification
  • (Bourne, 1981)

  • Any change in the relative position of the
    housing unit or the household in the inventory,
    or matrix, of housing units in the area
    filtering up and filtering down
  • History concept Innermost rings in the city were
    occupied by a succession of social groups of
    decreasing income.
  • Each zone filtered down over time

  • Placed central are the conditions and mechanisms
    that move boundaries between neighbourhoods of
    different socio-economic status and ethnic
    differences in an unstable housing market
  • This approach unites elements of neighbourhood
    change with sub-market interrelatinships,
    filtering and housing preferences

Vacancy Chains
  • Perspective related to filtering
  • Directly links housing units involved in
    household relocations
  • Vacancy is being displaced with every step
  • Weakness of the method chains are short when
    there are a lot of new households and
    in-migrants, and where demolitions take place,
    chains are shorter when new public sector housing
    is constructed

  • The investment of urban space for the use of a
    more affluent clientele, made possible by
  • Demographic shifts (dink, smaller families)
  • Employment (dual income) Disposable income and
    share to spend on housing has increased
  • Costs suburban housing has increased since the
    1970s, while costs of commuting increased
  • Shifts in tastes and housing preferences

Mechanisms of gentrification
  • Culture approach gentrification is the spatial
    expression of a critical class politics
  • Consumer dominance
  • Neighbourhoods gentrify because of changing
    tastes and preferences

Mechanisms of gentrification
  • Economics placed central gentrification is
    caused by the availability of inexpensive real
  • Rent gap theory many neighbourhoods experienced
    disinvestment in inner-city, leading to a decline
    in potential rent (highest and best use)
  • Gentrification takes place where the potential
    rent is far above the actual rent ? supply and
    concentration of devalorized land is necessary
  • 1990s recession brought an end to large scale
  • Demographics more maturing families interested
    in suburbs

Policy issue 1 Housing allocation
  • The distribution of housing among social groups
    and households at a given location
  • Two principle mechanisms of housing allocation
    through the private market and through the public
  • Private market price as mechanism, determined by
    the ability to pay, efficiency is the main
  • Public domain competition and cooperation as
    mechanisms, based on individual and collective
    needs, equity is the main objective
  • Different criteria for same goals (costs, prices,
    stock attributes)

The public allocation system in Canada
  • Welfare pluralism centralized welfare system has
    been superseded a decentralized system
  • Proliferation of agents much variation in the
    allocation of public housing, social housing and
    assisted market housing
  • Top down ? bottom up
  • Policy drift local outcomes may be a far cry
    from program intentions

Social housing allocation practices in North-West
European countries
  • Production and allocation of housing
    traditionally firmly in the hands of public
  • Long tradition of housing allocation systems,
    especially of inexpensive part of stock
    historical context
  • Some systems offer little freedom of choice and
    long, passive, waiting periods. Transparent,
    results can be checked, more objective, less
    discriminating or exclusive

Policy issue 2 Housing affordability
  • Consensus on it being one of the main housing
    issues in Canada
  • Measure of housing conditions Core housing need
  • Two-step process of assessment in relation to
    three standards Adequacy, suitability, (and, if
    one is not met ) affordability
  • Spatial differences and their relevance for
    housing market processes (prices, job
    opportunities, local tenure structure of the
    housing stock)
  • Levels of scale and studying housing issues

Major housing issues
  • Housing allocation
  • Housing affordability
  • Policy tilted towards owner-occupancy
  • Challenge many levels of government

Underlying factors of affordability problems
  • Geography
  • Demography (age and number of members household)
  • Migration/immigration/ethnicity (limited
    knowledge of housing market and discrimination)
  • Income recipients (number of potential income
    earners in household)
  • Income source (self-employment, wages and
    salaries etc.) and income polarization
  • Employment and gender
  • Education (skills and abilities)
  • Housing tenure (homeownership insulates from
    price shocks)

Policy solutions per housing issueHousing
  • No easy solution!
  • Symptom of a deeper rooted problem?
  • Acknowledgement of the role of poverty is a start
  • Obstacles in government policy and market should
    be taken away as much as possible
  • Concepts and goals should be defined clearly
  • Adjustments in minimum wage (may in some cases
    lead to less jobs though!)

Policy solutions per housing issueHousing
  • Offering pool of incentives for which developers
    have to compete quid pro quo
  • Continuation of shelter allowances (and to a
    lesser degree rent supplements)
  • Tolerating conversion in the direction of cheaper
    rented homes, facilitating renovation, and
    informal housing
  • Balanced approach of supply and demand side
    measures, and a more direct commitment of
    governments to affordable housing investments
  • Co-ops could be given a more substantial
    influence and role

Policy solutions per housing issue housing
  • A clearer distinction between housing access and
    housing allocation
  • In stead of leaving allocation completely up to
    the market, focus attention on lower-income
    families that are not served adequately by the
    housing market itself
  • More attention for rented housing stock
  • Waiting lists are increasingly replaced by
    lotteries, which are said to lead to more
    transparent and fairer allocation

Policy solutions per housing issue housing
  • Choice based allocation models seem to be
    positively received by both governments and home
    seekers and could well apply even in a market
    based system, if implemented on target groups
  • Third parties have produced good quality
    proposals in the past
  • Realization that implications of welfare
    pluralism (policy drift) may not be a bad thing
    in all cases

Policy solutions per housing issue many levels
of government
  • Municipalities have a good eye for the daily
    practice of housing issues
  • Municipalities are also diverse
  • Municipalities do not have sufficient funding to
    tackle socio-economic and housing issues of this
  • Provincial funding and regional expertise
  • Programs need to meet national goals to be
    successfully implemented, coordinated, and

Policy solutions per housing issue many levels
of government
  • Responsibility is taken on a federal level in the
    international community (United Nations
    declaration of human rights and International

Thank you all!
  • Thank you for your presence, input, and efforts
    in and for this course.
  • Especially for the fantastic papers that I will
    enjoy reading.
  • Good luck with the exam and everything after!

  • Doling, J. J. Ford (1996), The new
    homeownership the impact of labour market
    developments on attitudes toward owning your own
    home. Environment and Planning A, pp. 157-172.
  • Saunders, P. (1990), How the meek inherited the
    earth. In A nation of homeowners. Chapter 1.
    London Unwin Hyman. p. 11-56.

  • Sinai, I. (2001), Intraurban housing mobility in
    a traditional West-African city. Shelter or
    business decision? Urban Studies, 38/3, pp.
  • Soldressen, L.S. S.S. Fiorito (1998), An
    exploration into home-based businesses data from
    textile artists. Journal of Small Business
    Management, 36 (2), pp. 33-45.

Literature last class
  • Bourne, L.S. (1981), The role of government
    housing policies and programs. Chapter 9. p.
  • Porter, B. (2005), The right to adequate housing
    in Canada. In J.D. Hulchanski M. Shapcott
    (eds. 2005), Finding room. Policy options for a
    Canadian rental housing strategy. Chapter 3. p.
  • Bourne, L.S. (1981), Alternative housing
    systems  quasi-market, socialist and third
    world. Chapter 11. p. 235-249.
  • Hulchanski, D. M. Shapcott. (2004), Finding
    room Policy options for a Canadian rental
    housing strategy. Toronto University of Toronto
    Press. Chapters 20-22.
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