Robert Rogerson* - UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE
As the shockwaves generated by the US sub-prime loans crisis are absorbed by the global financial markets, renewed attention has been given to the ways in which governments have been instrumental in shaping the availability of affordable housing. Under third way urban policy in the UK, like many other governments, instruments associated with land use planning have been deployed to shape the supply, prices and geography of new housing. This form of rolled out neoliberalism occupies a tightrope between enabling property markets to expand available private sector housing for owner occupation and renting without a need to return to state-provided social housing as a means of expanding affordable property. Further this is to be achieved whilst supporting the wider policy agenda of nurturing sustainable communities.
This paper offers a critical analysis of the sustainability of a 'third way' approach in the current housing policy in England. The focus is on the limitations and contradictions arising from the use of land-use and planning regulation to deliver affordability in the housing market. In so doing, it illustrates the tensions existing between meeting the economic necessities of growing housing markets, and the social justice goals associated with sustainability of communities and security of family lives.