Policy Instruments in a Comparative Context
In this chapter the merits of examining housing and planning policies in different countries will be set out, with ideas from a cross fertilization of experiences in Europe and the USA to the fore. The limitations of obtaining lessons from other countries in the light of differences in institutional arrangements and varying perceptions of problems will be acknowledged. There will be a consideration of policy instruments which address the supply of housing through subsidy and land-use mechanisms, and issues of land assembly and the supply of land for social housing in Europe will be explored. The use of inclusionary zoning arrangements to support the supply of affordable housing through the planning system in the USA will be examined. The purpose is not to provide detailed descriptions or a fully comparative analysis of policy approaches in several countries, it is rather to point to selected examples of varying approaches in order to demonstrate the varieties of policy instruments and contexts. The analysis will show that the operation of markets in housing and land and the nature of public policy are influenced significantly by political and institutional contexts, and that ideas for new policy solutions should take account of these complexities. It will also be shown that the way that problems are formulated and solutions proposed can be usefully challenged by looking across international boundaries
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