Richard Ronald (University of Amsterdam), Christian Lennartz (University of Amsterdam, and Justin Kadi (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar)
An extended version of this post was originally published on 3 January 2017 in the Policy Briefing section of Discover Society which is provided in collaboration with the journal Policy & Politics. The original post is available at http://discoversociety.org/category/policy-briefing/.
Owning your own home has long been recognized as a form of asset-based welfare in policy terms. Historic growth in home ownership and house prices has advanced the assumption that housing equity fulfils a welfare function by acting as a store of wealth or even a reserve of cash. However, as Richard Ronald argues, a clear consequence of this policy has been to widen the gap between rich and poor families, as well as between young and old, with access to housing and housing wealth becoming a critical dimension of social inequality, especially since the last financial crisis. Continue reading