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What future for social housing in England?

Ian Cole


This article summarises some of the different perspectives that have been brought to bear in recent academic and policy debate about the future of social housing in Britain.  It identifies four main approaches, described as ‘market idealist’, revisionist’, ‘preservationist’ and ‘reformist’.  It puts forward a critical assessment of each perspective on both normative and empirical grounds.  The paper then considers the recent ‘Hills report’ on the future of social housing in England and Wales, developed from a reformist standpoint.  In conclusion, the paper asks whether the analytical merits of the Hills report will provoke a considered policy response, which moves away from the narrow and rigid thinking about the social housing sector that has predominated over the past two or three decades. 


DOI: 10.3351/ppp.0001.0001.0002