Patterns of distributive justice: social housing and the search for market dynamism in Amsterdam

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Housing policy changes in the Netherlands have been in line with OECD and IMF policy advice to increase market dynamism by downsizing the large social rental sector. The impact of such policies on households, however, is rarely acknowledged. Therefore, in this article, distributive effects on social housing tenants in Amsterdam between 2004 and 2014 are evaluated against two standards for distributive justice: sufficiency and priority. These standards befit the policy aim to provide adequate (sufficient) housing for households with a certain need (priority). The analysis shows housing policies have amplified the impacts of the global financial crisis on households. The occurrence of sufficiency increased significantly until 2008, but decreased thereafter. In regards of the priority standard more households with a significant need benefitted from social housing after 2008. However, many of these households still do not meet the sufficiency threshold. While spatial patterns remained rather stable, the impact has been greater in the areas with already relatively low residual incomes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages32
JournalHousing Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Mar 2020


  • Distributive justice
  • housing policy
  • priority
  • social housing
  • sufficiency
  • 1M Homes


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