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Land Markets and Housing Policy
Previously: Provision of Land for Social and Affordable Housing
Proposed in 2009, Established in 2010

Willem Korthals Altes
OTB - Research for the Built Environment
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Delft University of Technology
Delft, The Netherlands

Berit Nordahl
Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning
Norwegian University of Life Science
Aas, Norway

Central Theme of the Working Group
The working group addresses how policy and planning systems and (local) government institutions influence the supply of land for various categories of housing. Policies for development gain, cost recovery policies, negotiations, and the role of law and institutions might serve as key words. Resulting from the interplay between market forces and national policies for housing, spatial planning and land use, the way land for housing is being provided varies largely across countries. We welcome contributions assessing the workings of land markets in relation to housing, as well as the nature of, and the effect of regulations and interventions. This working group addresses models in which land is made available for housing and discusses commonalties and divergences across countries.
Sometimes policies evoking clashes with EU rules of the common market. International comparison and exchange may bring up suggestions for improving some of these national policies and practices. And – wherever such rules apply - it may help to find an effective balance between national land-related policies supporting social and affordable housing and the EU rules on State support and fair competition.

The working group is open for theoretical and practical approaches. In theoretical respect, the Working Group welcomes a variety of approaches of markets, state intervention, institutional dynamics and governance, including new institutional economics, the theory of social origins of non-profit regimes, the perspective of Law and Economics, and so on.
The topic of this group is cross disciplinary and we welcome contributions using various approaches and disciplines, such as, economy, sociology, architecture and law. Regarding this last aspect, the group works in close cooperation with the Legal Aspects of Housing, Land and Planning Working Group.

Recent activities and future plans
2016 ENHR Conference
Also due to the high number of workshop at the Belfast conference the number of papers in the Land Markets and Housing Policy was too low. For next year’s conference we will try to combine our workshop with for example ‘Housing Market dynamics’, focussing on the interplay between land policy, housing policy and the working of land markets and housing markets. A back-to-back arrangement between the two working groups would be useful.

Papers presented:

  • Job Taiwo Gbadegesin: Land Accessibility Factors in Urban Housing Provision in Nigeria Cities: Case of Lagos.
  • Danielle Groetelaers: Land development policy for nature conservation
  • Lasse De La Porte Simonsen and Stephen Wright: Residential Land Supply in 27 EU Countries: Pigovian Controls or Nimbyism?
  • Willem Korthals Altes: Annington versus Deutsche Annington: private equity and housing in Anglo-Saxon and Rhenish contexts
  • Berit Irene Nordahl: Institutions for more dense land use in cities: Accommodating urban growth policy shifts in Perth, WA and Oslo, Norway.

Special Issue on Land Policy for Housing Supply
In 2014 the working group aimed to pave the ground for publishing comparative articles in a scientific journal on the role of local authorities in providing land for housing. We especially invited papers based on current research relating to house building on private-owned versus public owned land, the variations in policies of land assembly for housing provision and cross country variations of land public disposal, i.e., to whom and by which specifications. In 2017 we will move this ambition ahead.

Summary of past activities

2007 We organized a workshop at the Rotterdam conference
2008 We organized a workshop at the Dublin conference
Acceptance of an analytical framework, which has served as a useful tool for the substantive coordination of the work of the group since then
2009 We organized a workshop at the Prague conference (focus on social providers acting in the land market, inclusionary housing/inclusionary zoning, and on country-specific studies)
Applying for COST subsidy
2010 We organized a workshop at the Istanbul conference
Because four other papers were in some or another way related to the topic of inclusionary housing (IH) or inclusionary zoning, the group has decided to start preparations for composing a special issue on this subject.
In June 2010 the working group has been accepted as a regular working group.
COST- proposal has not been accepted. Nevertheless, its preparation has had its effects on clarifying the goals of the working group and involving participation from a wider range of countries. The initiative has already had its spin-off in new exchanges of researchers. The reactions to our draft proposal have only confirmed our impression that the topic of the provision of land for various types of social and affordable housing will require more research in the coming years.
2011 We organized a workshop at the Toulouse conference
Preparation of a special issue on Inclusionary Housing
2012 Daniëlle Groetelaers replaced George de Kam as WG coordinator
We organized a workshop at the Lillehammer conference
2013 Special issue HBE on Inclusionary Housing (Volume 29, Issue 3, September 2014).
Country-specific contributions for Norway, the UK, Austria, New Zealand, Italy, the US, Turkey and the Netherlands have been submitted by the participants of the working group. The special issue of HBE is available at http://link.springer.com/journal/10901/29/3/page/1.
Five of the authors also attended a one-day seminar on Land  for social housing in March 2013, arranged by ass. prof. Laura Pogliani, Milan Polytechnic University.
We organized a workshop at the Tarragona conference.
2014 We organized a workshop at the Edinburgh conference.
2015 We organized a workshop at the Lisbon conference.

Policy implications
As indicated above policy issues are key to this working group. The Working Group aims at producing an inventory of the provision of land for housing in various national institutional contexts, and an analysis of bottlenecks in this provision regarding three aspects:

  • the availability of land (quantitative, as well as qualitative)
  • the price of serviced land
  • the extent to which and the way in which issues related to State support and equal competition are incorporated in national systems of provision of land for social and affordable housing, and an assessment of the viability of these systems in the light of (developments in) EU law
  • These activities may result in an exchange of best practices, as well as a set of suggestions for national policies on land for social and affordable housing and an enabling EU policy and legal framework, as well as joint research activities and publications.

    Researchers who are interested in this Working Group are encouraged to contact the coordinators at the addresses above.