Decentralisation and inter-governmental relations in the housing sector
Based on a survey, this paper presents new data on the decentralisation of the housing
system and co-ordination mechanisms across levels of government, focusing on the provision
of social housing. Decision-making in social housing tends to be more devolved to
sub-national actors, as compared to other key public services. Policy decision making
tends to be more centralised, while sub-national governments and housing providers
have more control over decisions regarding the inputs, outputs and monitoring of social
housing. Governments globally have implemented a mix of housing policy interventions.
Demand side interventions include tax allowances and subsidies to facilitate the purchase
of a home or the provision of social housing in the rental market to those in need.
Interventions to influence the supply of housing are generally aimed at housing developers
or sub-national governments, to stimulate housing construction. There are a number
of policy tools readily available to sub-national governments to improve housing outcomes,
including the implementation and reform of taxes on immovable property and the relaxation
of restrictive land use regulations.