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HWPS No. 3 | Arundel, R. (2013) | Subproject three: family support and housing access dynamics

In the past few decades, advanced economies have seen a strong shift towards increasing homeownership with housing taking on a more prominent role through trends towards a privatized asset-based welfare model where housing property is seen as a central component of household economic security. Decreasing support for other housing tenures, continued high house prices, increased mortgage indebtedness, volatile markets, and unstable labour conditions have contributed to socio-economic inequalities between those able to gain purchase in the housing market and those who are not.

Generational divides have been noted between relatively ‘housing wealthy’ older cohorts and younger generations that face compounded difficulties in accessing favourable housing positions. Within these contexts, it would appear that family support and intergenerational wealth transfers have become more important in enabling – especially younger – households at gaining better housing positions. Nonetheless, the specific welfare and housing system contexts create varying housing position opportunities and motivations, as well as affecting the dynamics of family support. The main focus of the proposed research is to investigate what opportunities and constraints young households are faced with in negotiating housing positions across different European welfare and housing system contexts and how the role of the family creates variegated opportunities for access into the housing market.