The term housing relates to a large number of different types of places where people live or work. It also refers to people’s individual or private possessions that they own or occupy as their home. HOUSING is commonly understood to be the arrangement or condition of a dwelling, together with its attached private belongings, that meets the needs of the inhabitants. In simple terms, housing could be described as the provision of a dwelling place for human habitation. More broadly, housing can be understood to be any dwelling place, whether it is a house, an apartment building, a row of houses on the outskirts of a town or village, a bungalow in a tropical climate or even a warehouse.
A housing policy is designed to meet the housing needs of people. This policy sets out how property owners are to utilise their homes, in relation to the needs of their tenants. It also lays down the conditions under which the homes may be rented. Thus, it covers a wide range of different characteristics of residential housing. It therefore requires thorough research in order to determine its effects on society as a whole.
The need for housing led to the birth of the concept of housing economics. This is the branch of economics which studies the housing market and its impact on the rest of the economy. The major contributions made by housing economists towards this area of economics are the rent analysis model, the cost-effectiveness of different forms of housing, the structure of housing markets and their implications for economic activity, and the location decisions regarding building. They are engaged in research in order to help people understand the housing situation better and make informed decisions regarding it. In fact, some of the most influential housing thinkers all over the world are Sir Alfred Nobel Prize winner Sir Alfred Nobel (R), founder of the Nobel Peace Prize Company, and Niels Schibli, chief editor of the Journal of Modern Economics.
Although there are many debates on the viability of the housing concept, the general opinion is that it has provided tremendous support to people’s lives. The benefits include affordable housing, more home construction, lower real estate taxes, increased urbanization, and reduced crime rates. It also has provided employment opportunities for the youth in the form of job opportunities at various levels. However, the recent developments such as the global credit crunch, stock market crash, recession, and economic turbulence have seriously dented its credentials and put a dampener on the housing industry. As a result, the general perception on the housing concept is that it is on the brink of a major collapse that could lead to drastic consequences in the economy.
In order to determine the status of the housing concept, the need for an extensive research method has been advocated. This is necessary in order to analyze the housing policies adopted by various governmental bodies as well as by private organizations. Although there is a need for thorough research in the area of housing classification, the first step that can be taken to evaluate the housing policy of a nation is to carefully scrutinize its current government’s housing policies. This analysis process can be carried out by using various methods such as meta-analysis, research methodologies, case studies, and so on.
A number of countries around the world have taken the initiative of integrating the concept housing into their official policies. These include Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States. In all these countries, the municipalities have undertaken a successful effort to develop housing through housing projects. At present, the most advanced housing estates feature both public and private amenities. In other words, the dwellings developed by the Housetour are completely integrated into the community.