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Changing Housing Policy Landscapes in Asia Pacific

By Richard Ronald and Rebecca Chiu


The Asia Pacific region, and in particular East Asia, underwent rapid urbanisation and industrialisation in the latter decades of the twentieth century. Central to this transformation was intensive public and private investment in the housing sector. Although housing was largely commodified, public subsidies and state policy directives were particularly intense. In the twenty-first century however, the landscape of housing policy has shifted. While the 1997-98 Asian Financial Crisis marked a watershed in economic conditions, other social, political and demographic changes have also subsequently come to bare. In recent years, housing affordability has become a core issue, and a focus of housing interventions, in most Asia Pacific societies as the efficacy of previous housing policies diminished and economic contexts changed. Housing market volatility has in many countries become the norm and economic growth, turbulent. The housing needs of low-income households have become increasingly exigent influencing considerable realignment in policy agendas among traditionally development focused and, often, authoritarian governments. This introduction to this special issue examines changes in Asia Pacific housing contexts with specific reference to recent economic crises as well as key political and socioeconomic developments. The articles in this issue - mostly country specific, but with one comparative paper - provide varied insights into how diverse urban, political and socioeconomic situations are shaping, and being shaped by, housing systems and housing policy responses.Asia Pacific, East Asia, welfare, housing policy,

DOI identifier: 10.1080/14616718.2010.506736
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