The Future of Public Housing: Trends in Public Housing Internationally

This report is the first phase of research conducted as part of the Future of Public Housing project which seeks to address the gap in knowledge on public housing by focusing on an international, multidisciplinary and comparative investigation of the history, current situation and possible futures for public housing. This study explored historical patterns in the provision of public housing in four global regions: North America, the EU, Eastern Europe and East and Southeast Asia. Data was collected from countries in the four regions focusing on key indicators related to the state of the public housing sector: number of units of public housing, percentage of public housing compared to market housing, distribution of tenure types in public housing stock, historical patterns of public housing as a percentage of total housing stock, and public housing rents compared to market rents. This data was represented visually using maps and diagrams, allowing for a comparative analysis of trends and patterns. Individual country profiles were created, allowing for a more in-depth depiction of public housing data for each country as well as narrative descriptions of the public housing structure, tenure and key historical policy trends. Initial analysis reveals that there is a lessening of public sector involvement in public housing; out of sixteen countries with available historical data, twelve showed declining percentages of public housing stock since the 1990’s. Closer examination of countries where there are increasing units of public housing show that there are challenges in keeping up with increasing population growth – while numbers of units may be increasing, percentages are decreasing.

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