Public housing

Social housing is any rental housing that may be owned and managed by the state, by non-profit organizations, or by a combination of the two, usually with the aim of providing affordable housing. Social housing is generally rationed by some form of means testing or administrative measures of housing need. Social housing can also be seen as a potential remedy to housing inequality.

Some philanthropists began to provide housing in tenement blocks, and some factory owners built entire villages for their workers, such as Saltaire in 1853 and Port Sunlight in 1888. It was in 1885, after the report from a Royal Commission in England, that the state first took an interest. This led to the Housing of the Working Classes Act of 1885, which empowered Local Government Boards to shut down unhealthy properties and encouraged them to improve the housing in their areas.

In Canada, public housing is usually a block of purpose-built subsidized housing operated by a government agency, often simply referred to as community housing, with easier-to-manage townhouses. Canada, especially Toronto, still maintains large high-rise clustered developments in working-class neighborhoods, a system that has fallen into disfavour in both the United States and the United Kingdom. However, Toronto Community Housing, the second largest public housing agency in North America, has a variety of buildings and communities ranging from individual houses to townhouse communities and mid-rise and high-rise apartments in both working-class and middle-class neighborhoods that house a significant number of low-income Canadians.

Public housing was only built with the blessing of the local government, and projects were almost never built on suburban greenfields, but through regeneration of older neighborhoods. The destruction of tenements and eviction of their low-income residents consistently created problems in nearby neighborhoods with "soft" real estate markets. Houses, apartments or other residential units are usually subsidized on a rent-geared-to-income (RGI) basis. Some communities have now embraced a mixed income, with both assisted and market rents, when allocating homes as they become available.

Indonesia has undertaken One Million Houses program for low-income people. The program has been implementing since 2015 to achieve an ambitious target of building 10 million houses. The proportion of the housing is 70 percent for low-income people and 30 percent for non-low-income people. This program is a joint movement between the Central Government, regional governments, real estate developers and the community. The program is targeted to reach one million housing units annually. In 2015, about 700,000 homes were built, increasing to approximately 800,000 in 2016 and around 904,000 by the end of 2017.

The rent payment for a danchi is much cheaper than that of an apartment or a mortgage, but for a public danchi the prospective tenant must usually participate in a lottery to be assigned an open apartment. Residents in UR danchi do not have to pay key money or contract renewal fees, making the residences cheaper than comparable housing even if the monthly rents are equivalent.

According to a 2018 discussion paper of the EU Commission, in 2015, 11.3% of the EU-population lived in households that spent 40% or more of their disposable income on housing. In January 2019, the former European Commission President, Romano Prodi, declared that "public investment in social infrastructure during the Eurocrisis reached a 20-year low. Current investment in social infrastructure in the EU is estimated at 170 billion euros per year. The minimum infrastructure investment gap in these sectors is estimated at 100 to 150 billion euros, representing a total gap of at least 1.5 trillion euros between 2018 and 2030.

The earliest public housing project in Finland was in Helsinki. In 1909, four wooden houses designed by the architect A. Nyberg were built on Kirstinkuja (formerly Kristiinankatu) for the city's workers. The residents were mainly working-class families with several children. The apartments had an average of five people per room, sometimes up to eight. The tiny apartments were equipped with running water, a pantry and an attic cupboard. Every apartment had its own toilet in the cellar. Electric lighting was installed in 1918.

 

 


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