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Intersections between housing affordability and meanings of home: A review

Research into housing affordability has flourished alongside growth in house prices, just as successive governments have used a range of policy levers to curb price increases. To date, however, these policies have met with little success. One persuasive explanation for that failure is that housing policies have been developed using affordability metrics in ways that have reinforced neoliberal prescriptions for the provision of housing, and that such policies are doomed to fail. Neoliberal policy settings continue to be influential, even in an environment where, under the current Labour Government, there is a rhetorical rejection of these prescriptions. Against this background, this review paper explores how a housing affordability research agenda might be bolstered by examining intersections between dimensions of affordability and meanings of home. Emerging research suggests that when housing is unaffordable, it becomes an arena of struggle in which dwellings are transformed in ways that undermine the potential to provide security, stability, and connection associated with meanings of home. The article concludes by suggesting research questions to examine that struggle in the pursuit of a sense of home, and in so doing, gain a better understanding of the lived experience of unaffordability.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Informa UK Limited
©2022 The Author(s). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License