The importance of affordable rental housing (IUT, July 2016)

  • The importance of affordable rental housing

  • By Sven Bergenstråhle, President of the International Union of Tenants (IUT), published on July 7, 2016

  • Abstract:

    • This paper explains the importance of recognizing housing as a human right and the particularities of the housing market (vs. other markets)

    • The paper also calls for "tenure neutrality" -which means that ways of finance and the tax system do not distort consumer choices between renting and owning. "Tenure neutrality assumes that all providers alike get assisted at the same level, under equal criteria."

    • It also calls for the implementation of subsidies to ensure that everyone has decent and safe housing. "Subsidies could have different forms: tax deductions, support to social housing, housing allowances to households, subsidized loans, and investment grants, special housing for certain groups and so on."

    • The author further highlights the importance of regulation. Such regulations usually include two main elements: (a) security of tenure, establishing a minimum duration of occupancy as well as limitations on the reasons for eviction of tenants; and (b) control on levels of price increase, intended both to preserve affordability and to preclude de facto economic eviction.

  • Keywords: affordable housing, right to housing, access to housing, rental housing, rent, tenure neutrality