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Making rent affordable? The aims and outcomes of housing and social security policies in Britain, 1945-1986.

Evans, Martin C (1992) Making rent affordable? The aims and outcomes of housing and social security policies in Britain, 1945-1986. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis studies the development and outcomes of housing and social security policies designed to make rent affordable to tenants in Great Britain. The primary research questions are first. How has policy changed and Why. and, second. How much have these changes cost, and to whom. The period studied is between 1945 and 1986. Policy development is analyzed through historical examination of documentary archives and published sources. Three themes are used to explore the evolution of policy. First, the development of housing policy is approached by examining the changing priorities between the aims of making rent affordable, the constraint of public spending and of tenure preference. Second, social security policy is analyzed to establish the role of rent in selective and universal benefit strategies. Third, the role of central and local government relations is explored to establish whether the role of rents and subsidies has been one characterised by conflicting aims between these two levels of government. The outcomes of policy are analyzed through secondary analysis of published government data, and through computerised secondary analysis of Family Expenditure Survey machine-readable data. The changing household composition and incomes of rented households is analyzed and compared between tenures. Model rented households are compared over time to assess the changing value of means tested rent rebates. FES samples from 1971, 1976, 1981 and 1986 are examined to establish how the affordability of rent has changed according to three criteria. First, a comparison is made of rent as a proportion of net household incomes, both with and without means tested rent subsidies. Second, rent is compared to equivalent household net income, with an examination of those who pay high and low proportions of income on rent in the top and bottom quintiles of tenant income distribution. Third, disposable household income, having paid rent, is examined in relation to equivalent supplementary benefit levels. The last outcomes discussed are those associated with public expenditure. Spending on rent support is examined to establish its changing value in real terms. Explanations are examined for changing trends in spending, and the distribution of spending examined between programmes, between central and local government, and between local authority and private landlords.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Public and Social Welfare
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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