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Title: Housing affordability in England
Author: Yip, Ngai Ming
ISNI:       0000 0001 3575 3086
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 1995
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Triggered by the state of the housing market and a change in the housing association subsidy system, housing affordability became a topical issue of discourse in Britain towards the end of the 1980s. Yet, there is little research both on the extent of the problem at the national level and how affordability should be measured. This research attempts to advance understanding in these issues based on data from the 1991 Family Expenditure Survey and the 1988 General Household Survey. In this thesis, a new definition of the residual income measurement has been proposed and threshold affordability ratios has also been established using a composite approach to affordability measurement combining the ratio and the residual income measurement, in additional to an experimentation on a behavioral approach to the measurement of affordability. Findings in this thesis suggest that, measured by the ratio measurement and the traditional residual income measurement, about a quarter of households in 1991 were in unaffordable housing. Social tenants and tenants in the unfurnished private rented sector, lone parents, the elderly persons and households with unemployed household heads and claimants of housing benefit were more likely to be in unaffordable housing. However, there is no evidence in support of distinct patterns in household expenditure between households who were affordable to housing and those who were unaffordable. It is also controversial to regard households who were unaffordable to housing but at the same time over-consumiing housing to be in voluntary unaffordability problem owing to the difficulties such households would have in adjusting their level of housing consumption. This thesis also points to the close relationship between housing affordability, housing benefit and social tenancy which suggests the inadequacy of the housing benefit system and state provision of housing in protecting households from the problem of housing affordability. A section of this thesis was devoted to the examination of the ability of tenants to buy in the late 1980s where tenure preference has been incorporated in the measurement of such ability. It was found that the majority of tenants in 1988 could not afford to buy and tenants living in London and the South East, single person households, lone parents and households on a low income were the least able to afford buying. Though the Right to Buy scheme would improve the capacity of these households in council housing to become home owners, they are still households who were the least able to buy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Internal and EU commerce & consumer affairs