Housing market renewal is one of the most controversial urban policy programmes of recent years. Housing Market Renewal and Social Class critically examines the rationale for housing market renewal: to develop 'high value' housing markets in place of the so-called 'failing markets' of low-cost housing. Whose interests are served by such a programme and who loses out?
Drawing on empirical evidence from Liverpool, the author argues that housing market renewal plays to the interests of the middle classes in viewing the market for houses as a field of social and economic 'opportunities', a stark contrast to a working class who are more concerned with the practicalities of 'dwelling'. Against this background of these differing attitudes to the housing market, Housing Market Renewal and Social Class explores the difficult question of whether institutions are now using the housing market renewal programme to make profits at the expense of ordinary working-class people. Reflecting on how this situation has come about, the book critically examines the purpose of current housing market renewal policies, and suggests directions for interested social scientists wishing to understand the implications of the programme.
Housing Market Renewal and Social Class provides a unique phenomenological understanding of the relationship between social class and the market for houses, and will be compelling reading for anybody concerned with the situation of working class people living in UK cities.
About the Author
Chris Allen is Professor of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University.