Summary of Key Points Housing policy aims to balance private housing markets with public housing needs.Fluctuations in the supply of and demand for housing have strongly influenced policy-making leading to major shifts in approach over time.Housing provision is structured by the existence of tenure divisions, the main forms being owner-occupation and renting from public, private and registered social housing providers.Exploitation of private tenants set the scene for the development of housing policy in the early twentieth century.At the end of the First World War government accepted responsibility for providing homes for all households requiring adequate housing.Owner-occupation began to grow with the increasing availability of mortgages, becoming the major tenure in the second half of the century.Public rented provision expanded rapidly after the Second World War, but declined from the 1980s with Housing Associations (HAs) and other registered providers becoming the main suppliers of social housing.After shrinking for most of the last century private renting has recently risen.Private and social housing rents have increased since the 1980s, with tenants on low incomes entitled to means-tested support, although this has recently been cut and integrated into the Universal Credit (UC).House building has fallen significantly since the late twentieth century.Labour’s housing policy in England reflected a commitment to raising basic standards, increasing choice for tenants and owners and, belatedly, boosting supply.Housing poilcy under the Coalition government in England has moved towards a more marketized approach and been closely linked to changes in welfare support.Tackling homelessness has become a major concern for policy-makers, altnough the approaches taken now vary across the UK.Devolution has led to increased differences in housing policy within the UK.
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