Owner occupation, employment and welfare: The impact of changing relationships on sustainable home ownership

J Ford, S Wilcox

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This paper is concerned with the changing relationships between owner occupation, employment and welfare that increasingly present a challenge to sustainable home ownership. While the discussion centres on the emerging position in Britain, the potential significance of the issues for a number of other countries is noted. The paper first identifies the conditions for sustainable owner occupation and then traces out the impact of three illustrative aspects of labour market change on sustainability. The three issues discussed are the growth of job instabilities, the rising incidence of unemployment and the growth of low paid employment. The extent to which the impact of the changing relationship between the housing and the labour market is already visible will be discussed--potential indicators include deteriorating physical conditions, changing attitudes to home ownership and financial difficulties, mortgage arrears and possessions. The latter form the focus for the discussion. This is set in the context of the changing pattern of safety net provision and the limiting of state welfare provision. Recent evidence questioning the likely success of the proposal to ensure the sustainability of owner occupation via the development of a private safety net will be presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-638
Number of pages16
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1998

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