Drawing upon Foucauldian analyzes of governmentality, the authors contend that social housing must be understood according to a range of political rationalities that saturate current practice and policy. They critically address the practice of dividing social from private tenure; situating subjects such as the purpose and financing of social housing, the regulation of its providers and occupiers and its relationship to changing perceptions of private renting and owner-occupation, within the context of an argument that all housing tenures form part of an understanding of social housing. They also take up the ways in which social housing is regulated through the invocation and manipulation of obscure notions of housing ‘need’ and ‘affordability’, and finally, they consider how social housing has provided a focus for debates about sustainable communities and for concerns about anti-social behaviour.
Regulating Social Housing provides a rich and insightful analysis that will be of value to legal scholars, criminologists and other social scientists with interests in housing, urban studies and contemporary forms of regulation.
"This important work epitomises the strengths of soci-legal research. It moves beyond a law-in-context approach, drawing on social theory to inform and elaborate upon interpretations of statute and case law and their implications for social housing." - Helen Carr, Kent Law School, University of Kent
"The real strength of the book lies in the application of Cowan and McDermont's theoretical analysis to their chosen topics… Regulating Social Housing is admirably ambitious in its scope and will repay close reading by anyone who wants to further their understanding of current housing policies, regulation theory, or key arguments about the construction of social housing." - Sarah Blandy, Housing Studies 22:4 (July 2007)
"The success of the book is in drawing out a number of themes through subject-specific chapters… There is much here that housing academics and the wider community of socio-legal scholars will find of value, and it is the sort of book that readers will find themselves referring back to, time and again." - Emma Laurie, Legal Studies Vol. 27 No. 2 (July 2007)
On Social Housing, Decline, Regulation and Government. Constructing the Domain. Needing Need. On Money. Regulatory Truths. The 'Social' Contract. Private Renting. Owner-Occupation. Conclusion