The Politics of Public Housing Reform: Local Government Stock Transfer in England
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Drawing on theories of political competition, we explore the extent to which local public housing reform reflects the ideology of local ruling parties and local political preferences. Based on the citizen candidate and median voter perspectives, we hypothesize that left-wing party rule and pro-state preferences are associated with higher levels of government-owned housing. We test these hypotheses by analyzing the levels of housing stock held by English local governments during the period 2001-14. Our findings suggest that pro-state preferences matter more than left-wing party rule for the overall extent of public housing provision. By contrast, right-wing party rule is associated with the likelihood that a local government's housing stock will be transferred out of the public sector, but pro-market preferences do not influence this decision. The implications of the findings are discussed in the conclusion.
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