Title: Housing Quality and Affordability in Belgium in an international comparison
Authors: Winters, Sien
Heylen, Kristof #
Issue Date: 2011
Conference: ENHR Conference 2011. 'Mixité’: an urban and housing issue? Mixing people, housing and activities as the urban challenge of the future edition:23 location:Toulouse (France) date:5-8 July 2011
Abstract: Belgium is a federal state with three regions. Since 1980, housing policy has come within the remit of the regions. Flanders is the largest of the three Belgian regions and one of the wealthiest regions of Europe. From earlier research we know that average housing quality and affordability in Flanders are good but that for a significant fraction of the population the constitutional right to decent and affordable housing is not realised. In this paper we add an international perspective to this research. We use EU-SILC data and available housing statistics to compare housing quality and affordability in Flanders with the other two Belgian regions and other European countries. We also investigate differences between socio-economic groups in each region. The paper concludes by setting out a number of hypotheses that seek to explain the observed discrepancies. A significant factor is that owner-occupied housing has long been a pillar of the welfare state in Belgium. A large number of households, however, that do not have the opportunity or do not wish to invest in owner-occupied housing, are left out in the cold. Individuals on low incomes who are at risk of poverty and households with only one adult have particular problems with housing quality and affordability.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Research Group Social and Economic Policy and Social Integration
# (joint) last author

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