Town Planning Review

Housing and land in Israel and the Netherlands: a comparison of policies and their consequences for access to housing

Town Planning Review (1998), 69, (4), 397


TPR, 69 (4) 1998 BARRIE NEEDHAM AND ROELOF VERHAGE Housing and land in Israel and The Netherlands A comparison of policies and their consequences for access to housing This paper examines the availability of housing in Israel and The Netherlands. Both are small, densely populated countries where land and planning policies affect housing supply significantly. The differences in house prices and densities between the two countries are due to the way land and planning policy is pursued. In The Netherlands, policies are used actively to ensure a plentiful supply of cheap land for housing, whereas in Israel severe restrictions are placed on the transfer of land into housing use. The comparison highlights the effects of policy choices and questions the effects of those choices on access to housing in the future. Access to housing Most countries have as an aim of public policy that their citizens be well housed at a reasonable price. One aspect of this can be expressed in terms of the price of housing relative to incomes: the lower that relative price, the better the access to housing. Governments take many actions to achieve that aim: stimulating increases in construction efficiency, giving subsidies, making loans available, and so forth. Housing cannot be built without land, so land supply is usually part of housing policy. However, the supply of land is also affected by other types of public policy. One is spatial planning, which affects how much land may be used for housing and where. The other is land policy, by which the public administration tries to realise its ideas about how land should be supplied, Barrie Needham is Professor of Spatial Planning and Roelof Verhage is a PhD research student, both at the School for Planning and Environment, University of Nijmegen, PO Box 9108, 6500 HK, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Paper submitted December 1996; revised paper received November 1997 and accepted February 1998. 397 Copyright © 2010 ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. Copyright © Liverpool University Press.

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Author details

Needham, Barrie

Verhage, Roelof