Fannie Mae Foundation

This article describes the way in which the current government of the United Kingdom has implemented the policy of privatization with respect to housing since it come to power in 1979. It details the main elements and diversity of the policy; evaluates the results in terms of tenure change, allocation of housing services, prices, and investment; examines the emerging problems of affordability and access; and suggests that there have been considerable benefits from both privatization and deregulation in terms of greater efficiency and responsiveness. However, it also stresses the extent to which government involvement in housing, although undoubtedly shifting away from direct provision, has reemerged through both income-related and supply subsidies to other landlords. The article concludes that in the United Kingdom, unlike in the United States, the provision of adequate housing for all is still regarded as a government responsibility.

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