OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market, social policy and migration studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.

English, French

Policies to promote access to good-quality affordable housing in OECD countries

This paper develops OECD information on housing policies and the degree to which OECD countries pursue social policy objectives them. Data collected by the OECD shows that most OECD countries provide considerable support to promote access to homeownership: reported spending can amount up to 2.3% of GDP. Most OECD countries also support the provision of social rental housing, but public support for social rental housing is declining in many countries and the private rental sector is playing an increasingly important role in promoting access to affordable housing. In almost all OECD countries housing support is also delivered through means-tested housing allowances, for which reporting countries spend between 0.6 and 1.8% of GDP. The available data do not allow for a comprehensive cross-country comparison of the housing policy mix but, where available, data suggest that owner-occupied housing receives significant support compared to other tenures.Access to housing and housing quality also remain pressing concerns in many OECD countries. Significant numbers of people are homeless: while statistics are difficult to compare, most OECD countries report that 1 to 8 people in every thousand lack regular access to housing. In addition, many households live in low-quality dwellings: 15% of low-income households live in overcrowded dwellings and 14% do not have access to an indoor flushing toilet. Neighbourhood crime and pollution are also problematic for many households throughout the OECD.


Keywords: Spatial segregation, Private rental housing subsidies, Homeownership subsidies, Social housing subsidies, Housing need, housing policies, Housing affordability
JEL: I38: Health, Education, and Welfare / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty / Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty: Government Policy; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs; R31: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location / Housing Supply and Markets; H24: Public Economics / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue / Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies; R21: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / Household Analysis / Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Housing Demand
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