The Contested Politics of Residential Space

This report delves into the intricacies of housing policies and their alignment with public values. It addresses challenges in measuring progress and benchmarks in social welfare policies. The concept of a minimum income standard, developed through consensus, is applied to measure poverty effectively. However, housing costs’ variability hinders direct application. The study aims to comprehend attitudes toward residential space standards in the UK and compare them with values underlying contested policies: the single occupant Council Tax discount, LHA Shared Accommodation Rate, and the “Bedroom Tax.”

Three policies impacting housing consumption are examined:

Single Occupant Council Tax Discount: Introduced in 1993, offers a 25% Council Tax reduction for sole occupants aged 18+. Certain exemptions apply.

LHA Shared Accommodation Rate: Limits Housing Benefit for under-35 private tenants to shared housing costs.

Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy (“Bedroom Tax”): Introduced in 2013, reduces Housing Benefit for under-occupying social housing tenants.

The study explores the ethical justifications behind these policies, considering their impact on public values. It examines if these policies align with public sentiments by employing comprehensive household surveys. This research deepens our understanding of the intricate relationship between housing policies, moral values, and public perceptions, offering insights for effective social welfare decisions.

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Date: September 8, 2023 5:06 pm

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