“Social Housing – Not in my backyard?”

The third of four talks in the Brown-Bag Seminar of the Political Science Department at the University of Kaiserslautern dealt on the 12th of December with questions of social housing policy – the subject of the dissertation of Alexander von Kulessa.

Of the very early project, Kulessa presented preliminary results of his first empirical case: London. A massive decline in the rate of social housing has been evident in the British capital since the 1980s. And by 2011 there was almost no social housing left in the city’s center. Instead social housing is now mainly located on the outer edges of the metropolitan area. An important factor in this regard was the “Right to buy” introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1980. The “Right to Buy” scheme is a UK policy which gives tenants of councils and some housing associations the legal right to buy, at a large discount, the apartment they are living in. In the talk, Alexander von Kulessa presented various hypotheses to explain this temporal and geographical variance. A specific issue adressed by him was the role of political parties in terms of a partisan effects approach.

However, the hypotheses which assume that the social housing rate is higher given a higher share of Labor mandates in a community, have not yet been confirmed. The multi-level regression model rather indicate that the social housing rate is lower when the proportion of homeowners is higher. Following the presentation of the first results, a lively discussion ensued with a large number of students and the teaching team of the Political Science Department of the University of Kaiserslautern.

Daniel Meyer

(Photo by Daniel Meyer)