The state of tenure : Extending owner occupation on Wearside
This thesis considers the changing social relations of tenure in Britain as state interventions increasingly sponsor home ownership as the norm for working-class family households. These intervention are highlighted through four case studies of low-cost ownership on Nearside, illustrating different facets of the extension of ownership. The early chapters discuss orthodox Marxist, Weberian and Feminist accounts of tenure, and indicate that the material and ideological realities associated with different tenure forms need to be placed in an historical context. Further, it is suggested that changes in tenure relations can best be understood by employing the idea of a housing cohort. This enables the analyst to explore tenure in the context of households' relationships to changing local housing and labour markets. It highlights the materiality of space and time in constraining tenure experience. The empirical chapters that follow explore working-class housing in Sunderland within this framework. After an historical account of the linkages between housing markets and labour markets in the area, two locales are examined in detail to reveal the changing patterns of tenure in the private sector in the early part of the twentieth century. This examination highlights the mutability of tenure forms within the private sector. The following four chapters report on survey work undertaken in order to explore the changing meanings of tenure as the drive to recommodification extended ownership to new kinds of households. The experience of different kinds of ownership (outright ownership, mortgage holding, equity sharing) in four different locales (ex-council estates, older terrace housing, new- build inner city locations, and a suburban new build scheme) enables comparisons to be made between the variable impacts of different kinds of marginal ownership on Wearside. The emerging contradictions in each of the four locales are outlined, and the interconnected nature of council tenancy and ownership stressed. Finally, an attempt is made to explore further the usefulness of a cohort analysis in understanding the restructuring of tenure relations.