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Plenary Session(abstract)(SSSP 127th Biannual Conference)

 

2013年9月2日

Plenary Session : Housing Security and Social Policy

 Coordinator: Shogo Takegawa(Tokyo University)

 

1  Housing policy and the reproduction of home ownership

 (Yosuke Hirayama,Kobe University)

 

    By the late twentieth century, following the sustained development of property ownership, home-owning society has effectively become ‘mature’ in Japan. This implies that great emphasis was placed on the reproduction of home ownership, rather than its creation. Since the 1990s, however, economic decline has combined with neoliberal transformations in government housing policy to undermine the reproductive capacity of Japan’s homeowner society. The contemporary housing situation of Japan is now raising questions as to the extent to which home-owning societies can be maintained, and whether a ‘post-home-owning society’ will emerge or not. Private ownership in Japan continues to occupy the main position as the dominant housing tenure. Japan’s home-owning society will therefore be likely to be maintained in the foreseeable future. However, home ownership in present-day Japan is completely different from what it was before. For the past two decades, most owner-occupied houses have consistently generated capital losses and an increasing number of homeowners have been trapped in negative equity. Moreover, younger generations are now increasingly being excluded from conventional routes that could take them into property ownership. This paper explores transformations in Japan’s home-owning society, placing particular emphasis on the role played by neoliberal policy in eroding the traditional system of reproducing home ownership.

 

2  A change of living capital and habitation poverty

 (Yoshihiro Okamoto, Chukyo University)

 

   Japan’s habitation is holding unbalance called the surplus and the housing poor of a residence today. This report catches the present habitation poverty through the change of the “living capital” which pulls out the structure supporting a life from society, and it presents the suggestion to a habitation policy.

   ”Living capital” consists of the following four sides. Thus, they are “the appropriate space which underpins a life based on a dwelling”, “the appropriate economic burden of housing expenses”, “conformity to the life stage of living environment”, and “participation for forming living environment suitable for a life.” This “living capital” changed at various points with change of economic society and a regional structure, and habitation poverty actualized.

   This report mainly considers the relations between living capital and “working”, and “a welfare measure.” Although the dwelling is indispensable to a life, the income by working supports a security and maintenance of the dwelling. “The relation between a dwelling and working” has changed in response to the influence of the change of the urban infrastructure, industrial structure, and technology.

   It analyses the relation also including the commercialization degree of a dwelling with the geographical relation between a place of work and a dwelling, and considers the positioning of a dwelling again.

   Moreover, when it takes homeless issue, it shows the structure of the housing acquisition in which stoppage of an income loses an accommodation easily. And it is shown that the occurrence of the event in lives such as advanced age, the illness, the disabled unemployment and a disaster triggers the habitation poverty.

   Furthermore, although the focus for measures moves from the institution to the local in aging, change of a family composition, and the medical treatment and the welfare makes the role of an appropriate dwelling conspicuous, it shows that the dwelling in the area is insufficient for supporting a life of all people.

   At last it works on the measure which supports the “living capital” construction which realizes appropriate habitation for a broader meaning of homeless issue.

 

3 The Housing Problem for People in Need of Care and New Approaches to Dealing With It

(Lisa Kuzunishi, Osaka City University)

 

   The circumstances of family relationships and lifestyles in relation to communities are changing by the hour and by the day. Due to the rise in divorce rates, increases in the number of people who have become single once again, and in single-parent households, are showing a consistent upward trend. The trend towards late marriages or never marrying at all is rapidly accelerating, and the choices to not marry or to not have children are no longer particularly unusual. Even for those who are married, where both partners are employed, there are families that do not live together due to the demands of work. The custom of children looking after their parents is in decline, and there is a conspicuous increase in households consisting only of the elderly. Due to changes like these in the forms of families, and ideas about what families should be, it has become difficult to manage care-giving issues such as housekeeping, child rearing, and nursing of the elderly and invalids within the bounds of traditional families. Even without urgently pressing problems of care-giving, the bonds with families and communities are being lost and there are many people living alone who have become isolated.

   Among these, the single-parent households that are the focus of this paper are typical cases where the burden of child rearing is linked to difficulties in finding and keeping employment, and consequently to vulnerable livelihoods. For single parent households where one person has to take on the dual burdens of both employment and child rearing, private child rearing assistance is essential to help supplement the inadequacies of public day care. Where this cannot be secured, the reality is that there is a high probability of being excluded from steady employment.

   In recent years, attention has focused on ‘shared housing,’ a living pattern where households who are not related by blood live together and through communal activity try to solve the concrete issues of living such as child rearing and housekeeping.

   In this paper, I will first present an overview of the problems related to living and livelihood for single parents, and then next will describe case studies of shared housing aimed at single parents that have been verified within Japan.

 

4 British Housing Policy and Social Security Reform

 (Michihiko Tokoro, Osaka City University)

 

 Housing policy is a core in social policy and Britain has presented interesting developments in this area. The post-war welfare state provided council housing nationwide, and then, Margaret Thatcher’s government implemented ‘right to buy’ programme under her privatisation policy. While public sectors housing provision declined, cash benefits to support the tenants grew since the 1980s. Current coalition government aims to cut the social security benefits, in particular, targeting the housing benefit. It is feared that the recent policy changes would lead further difficulties for those with housing needs.

Analysis of British housing policy offers a good platform for social policy debates, including the role of state, market, cash benefit and social housings to fulfil the citizen’s basic needs. It is also important to examine the outcome of housing policy in the context of social exclusion. My paper will try to suggest the direction for Japanese social policy by evaluating the British policy developments.