Neoliberal Housing Policy: An International Perspective, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Neoliberal Housing Policy

An International Perspective, 1st Edition

By Keith Jacobs


192 pages | 36 B/W Illus.

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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.


"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

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter 2: The enactment of housing policy: the example of the United States Chapter 3: A dream that turned into a nightmare? Homeownership policies and their implications Chapter 4: The demise of public housing? Chapter 5: Homelessness Chapter 6: Housing and the city Chapter 7: Waking up from the dream? The example of suburban development Chapter 8: Housing futures Chapter 9: Conclusion

About the Author

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.

About the Series

Explorations in Housing Studies

Series Editors

Ray Forrest, City University of Hong Kong

[email protected]

Janet Smith, University of Illinois – Chicago

[email protected]

Keith Jacobs, University of Tasmania

[email protected]

Explorations in Housing Studies is a series of high quality, research monographs which aims to extend and deepen both theoretical debate and empirical research in the housing studies field. The series is looking for novel and cutting edge contributions which may offer new links across disciplines, new policy insights or open up new research agendas. With editors based in Asia, Australasia and North America, the series expects to have a strong international and comparative dimension. The core audience is anticipated to be rooted in critical approaches in the social sciences but proposals from scholars in other relevant disciplinary fields are also welcomed. The editors are particularly keen to hear from new scholars with ideas for books.

The series is being introduced at a time when housing, in its various dimensions, is particularly closely intertwined with the impact of demographic change, economic instability, the shaping of life chances and wealth distributions and with the uncertain impacts of environmental and technological change. Books in the series may engage with these and related issues from a variety of perspectives and methodologies-for example, drawing on new political economy approaches or involving intensive ethnography or mixed methods. The key test will be whether the proposal offers new energy and new excitement to the housing studies field.

To Submit a Proposal:

Please contact the series editor closest to your region. Each volume will be approximately 60,000 to 70,000 words and include around 20 or 30 images. A proposal must be written and submitted to the Series Editors for consideration. The editors will make an initial decision on review, and then submit to Routledge for their consideration and external review. Final decision is made at that point, and a contract is placed between author(s) and Routledge. It is anticipated that four volumes will be published per year in the series.

We welcome your ideas and proposals for this exciting new Series!

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning