Comparative Housing Policy


Marja Elsinga
OTB – Research for the Built Environment
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Delft University of Technology
Delft, The Netherlands

Michelle Norris
School of Applied Social Science
University College Dublin
Dublin, Ireland

Mark Stephens
School of Social & Political Sciences
University of Glasgow
Glasgow, UK

Martin Grander
Department of Urban Studies
Malmö University

Central theme
The aim of the Working Group is to:

  • promote the comparative international study of housing policies and systems;
  • provide a forum for the assessment of Europe-wide policies relating to housing and of the potential role of the European Union and in this regard;
  • promote the development of comparative methodologies; and
  • collect and disseminate information on housing policies in individual countries.

Activities and output in recent years
The Working Group held a successful event hosted by TU Delft in November 2016, organised by Marja Elsinga. Papers from this event are currently under review for a Special Issue of the Journal of Housing and the Built Environment on housing affordability.

On 10-11 November 2017 we organised a meeting at the Delft University of Technology in Delft, the Netherlands. Theme of the meeting was ‘New approaches to affordable housing’. Click here for more information about the ‘New approaches to affordable housing’ meeting. Housing affordability is an issue in many places in many ways. Affordability is under pressure in growth areas because of house price increases and affordability is under pressure because of lack of formal institutions/policies that are able and or willing to provide affordable housing. At the same time there is a need for affordable housing among those who found a job or are planning to find a job is such growing areas. Moreover, those looking for affordable housing may be pushed out of the growth areas and for housing market reasons get into a weaker position. Will this lead to divided cities? Recent research reveals that socio-economic segregation increased in European capitals in the last decade.

The group attempted to organise a workshop in Edinburgh in 2019, but it did not go ahead due to insufficient interest.

Future plans and activities
We are currently advertising a workshop in Oxford in March 2020 with Dr Julie Lawson. It remains to be seen whether there is sufficient interest.

Policy implications