Housing and welfare reform, and the suburbanization of poverty in UK cities 2011–20

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The suburbanization of poverty has been noted in many advanced industrial nations including the UK. Theory focuses on economic and labour market restructuring combined with processes of market- and/or state-led housing change. This paper examines the contributions of housing and welfare reforms. In the UK, housing policy has driven low-income households increasingly to find accommodation in the private rental sector at the same time that welfare reforms have constrained the rents these households can afford. This paper traces the spatial consequence of these reforms, drawing on a novel combination of Government data and a database of private rental adverts. Up to 2011, the shift from social to private renting for low-income households was relatively neutral in its impacts on suburbanization. Since then, low-income households in private renting have been increasingly pushed to less central locations as rents in more central areas have risen faster. The role played by housing and welfare policy in the suburbanization of poverty needs wider consideration.




Bailey, N., Livingston, M., & Chi, B. (2023). Housing and welfare reform, and the suburbanization of poverty in UK cities 2011–20. Housing Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/02673037.2023.2266398

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