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Housing Policy

  • By: Janet L. Smith
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Housing policy includes formal laws and regulations that directly affect the construction, maintenance, and use of housing. While housing policies vary by country, they generally aim to meet both physical and social goals. Differences in national policies reflect how much faith a country has in the market to provide housing for its people and under what circumstances the state will intervene. For example, the United States first intervened in the market in response to the Great Depression, introducing new financial instruments and incentives to help jumpstart the economy by making it easier for people to buy homes. In comparison, the United Kingdom and many European countries began investing in resources to support the production of housing for lower-income working families in the late 1800s, in ...

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