ENHR Conference 'Overcoming the crisis: integrating the urban environment' location:Tarragona (Spain) date:19-22 June 2013
The paper reports on the main developments in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) in Flanders over the past few decades. The most striking conclusion is that the PRS contains an ever weakening market. One of the root causes can be traced back to historical policy options mainly focusing on homeownership through tax incentives and premiums. The percentage of owner-occupied dwellings increased ever since the post-war period. The PRS more and more became a residual market characterized by little professional letting and inhabited by tenants with a weakening socio-economic profile. After discussing the role, size and composition of the PRS due to historic measures, the paper elaborates on current and future housing policies, thereby focusing on two key developments. First, there is a growing level of understanding that the private rental market needs supportive policies. Secondly, the next step in the reform of the Belgian state will offer historic opportunities for the Flemish housing policy as new competences such as the rental legislation and the budgets for tax benefits will be transferred to the regions.