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Neoliberal Social Housing Policies, Market Logics and Social Rented Housing Reforms in New Zealand

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Neoliberal social housing policies have profoundly altered the nature and character of social housing provision internationally.

These policies, involving marketisation and privatisation, have circulated via international policy networks and have been territorialised in national housing regimes. Despite the ascendency of these policies, David Clapham argues that the logical inconsistencies and problems of neoliberal housing discourses need to be exposed. This paper examines the nature and impacts of a social rented housing reform programme enacted in New Zealand post 2010. The reforms included the introduction of reviewable tenancies, changes in the regulation and governance of social housing providers and stock transfers. It is argued that underpinning the reform process was a set of market logics that framed the sector and tenants in new and contradictory ways. In addition, it is argued that the reforms also involved the restructuring of housing providers in ways that significantly altered existing practices and fundamentally challenged the notion of security of tenure that existed within the sector.

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