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Brick by Brick

Building Better Housing Policies

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The report brings together evidence, international experience and policy insights for the design of housing policies. Emphasis is placed on three broad aspects: inclusiveness, efficiency and sustainability. Inclusive access to housing has become increasingly challenging in many OECD countries due to a large extent to rising housing costs, which reflects the failure of housing supply to meet demand, particularly in jobs-rich urban areas. Geographical constraints play a role, but in many cities regulations, including on land-use and zoning provisions, also constrain supply. At the same time, some regulations on tenant-landlord relations can discourage the development of rental markets, pushing up rents. Moreover, the transition to a low-carbon economy poses challenges for a sector that accounts for 17% of CO2 emissions and 37% of fine particulate matter emissions globally. Almost two-thirds of countries worldwide still lack mandatory building energy codes. Frontloading efforts is critical as dwellings have a very long lifespan. The report lays out evidence-based options for concerted policy action to address these challenges, while recognising complementarities and trade-offs amond the different objectives of housing policies. The report is part of the OECD Housing Tookit, which includes an interactive online dashboard of housing indicators and country snapshots.

English Also available in: French

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Designing Policies for Efficient, Inclusive and Sustainable Housing

Housing has become an increasingly pressing economic, social and environmental challenge in OECD countries. Rising house prices and rents have undermined affordability and resulted in social exclusion. This chapter documents these trends and discusses their main drivers by pulling together key findings from the OECD Horizontal Project on Housing. It shows that inefficiencies in housing markets can have adverse consequences for the economy at large, including macroeconomic instability and impaired labour mobility. Cost pressures also exacerbate the challenge of upgrading the housing stock to comply with environmental objectives. The chapter concludes by reviewing the evidence on policy instruments that can improve housing outcomes and describing the policy indicators used to assess progress and gauge the scope for further policy action. An online dashboard and country snapshots provide easy ways to compare indicators of outcomes and policy settings across countries. The conclusion summarises synergies and trade-offs of different policy interventions with respect to the objectives of housing inclusiveness, efficiency and sustainability.

English Also available in: French

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