1st Edition

Neoliberal Housing Policy An International Perspective

By Keith Jacobs Copyright 2019
    206 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    206 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Neoliberal Housing Policy considers some of the most significant housing issues facing the West today, including the increasing commodification of housing; the political economy surrounding homeownership; the role of public housing; the problem of homelessness; the ways that housing accentuates social and economic inequality; and how suburban housing has transformed city life. The empirical focus of the book draws mainly from the US, UK and Australia, with examples to illustrate some of the most important features and trajectories of late capitalism, including the commodification of welfare provision and financialisation, while the examples from other nations serve to highlight the influence of housing policy on more regional- and place-specific processes.

    The book shows that developments in housing provision are being shaped by global financial markets and the circuits of capital that transcend the borders of nation states. Whilst considerable differences within nation states exist, many government interventions to improve housing often fall short. Adopting a structuralist approach, the book provides a critical account of the way housing policy accentuates social and economic inequalities and identifies some of the significant convergences in policy across nations states, ultimately offering an explanation as to why so many ‘inequalities’ endure. It will be useful for anyone in professional housing management/social housing programmes as well as planning, sociology (social policy), human geography, urban studies and housing studies programmes.

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    List of Boxes


    1 Introduction

    2 The Enactment of Housing Policy: The Example of the United States

    3 A Dream that Turned into a Nightmare? Homeownership Policies and Their Implications

    4 The Demise of Public Housing?

    5 Homelessness

    6 Housing and the City

    7 Waking Up from the Dream? The Example of Suburban Development

    8 Housing Futures

    9 Conclusion



    Keith Jacobs is Professor of Sociology at the University of Tasmania, Australia. He has published widely on housing and urban policy issues and is the author of The Dynamics of Local Housing Policy (1999), Social Constructionism in Housing Research (2004) edited with Jim Kemeny and Tony Manzi, Experience and Representation: Contemporary Perspectives on Migration in Australia (2011), Between the Outback and the Sea: Cosmopolitanism and Anti Cosmopolitanism in Contemporary Australia (2011) edited with Jeff Malpas, and House Home and Society (2016) with Rowland Atkinson and Towards a Philosophy of the City: Interdisciplinary and Transcultural Perspectives (2019) edited with Jeff Malpas.

    "In this essential book, Keith Jacobs offers a compelling global critique, based on evidence from several nations, of contemporary housing policies that fail to respond adequately to (and indeed exacerbate) the structural inequalities formed through international flows of capital. An urgent wake up call for housing policy, practice and scholars." -John Flint, Professor of Town and Regional Planning, University of Sheffield, UK

    "In this timely and important book, Keith Jacobs expertly dissects the nature and causes of the housing crises in advanced economies. His detailed and wide-ranging research illustrates how, since the 1970s, government housing policies have overwhelmingly favoured the already wealthy resulting in an ever-increasing proportion of the population being priced out of homeownership, and an intensification of displacement, division, homelessness and neglect of public housing." -Alan Morris, Professor at the Institute for Public Policy and Governance, University of Technology Sydney, Australia