Homeownership: the rise and fall of public housing

After the second world war, in the UK, Aneurin Bevan imagined the building of excellent-quality council housing not only as essential to narrowing inequalities in public health, but as a way of forging a society where class mattered less. He pushed forward a programme of building large, several-bedroomed council houses with gardens to be rented by middle-class as well as working-class people, and not to “be sold to others merely because they have the money to buy them”. Most of all these council houses have now been sold, as a consequence of years of policies aimed to boost homeownership. This trend has been experienced in many countries around the world which are now facing serious housing crises where younger generations cannot afford any longer to either rent or buy apartments. What are the driver and consequences of the success of an homeownership ideology? How has it increased social inequalities and segregation?

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Franco Bezzo
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Franco Bonomi Bezzo is a research fellow at La Statale, University of Milan, as part of the ERC DESPO project, which deals with the political and social changes that have occurred as a result of European de-industrialisation. Franco is affiliated with the National Centre for Demographic Studies in Paris (INED) and the Centre for Labour Market and Development Studies (SALDRU) at the University of Cape Town. Franco works mainly on i) intersectional approaches to the study of inequality; ii) spatial political sociology; iii) basic income models and post-employment scenarios; iv) global south

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