Policies designed to provide low-cost housing for the poor have in reality reduced choice and trapped many in appalling conditions, argues a new study published today by the Institute of Economic Affairs*. Prescriptive state intervention has manifestly failed to provide for the diverse needs of individual low-income households, yet the current UK government is increasing the level of government control over housing.
The authors, led by housing expert Dr Peter King**, argue that instead of government seeking to provide housing itself, it should play the role of facilitator. It can provide resources, put in place the general framework and ensure that contracts are enforceable and protected. The findings are based on case studies from both the developed and developing world.