Political Framing in National Housing Systems: Lessons from Real Estate Developers in France and Spain
In many Western countries, the desire for homeownership is understood as universal. A similar claim on the desire for property is common in the French and Spanish political spheres and in the media. During his campaign in 2007, French presidential candidate Sarkozy announced that the encouragement of owner-occupied housing would be his top housing priority and backed this up with mortgage interest tax deductions. Such political discourses have precedents within France and Spain. One famous slogan of the Franco regime was to transform a country of proletarians (un país de proletarios) into a country of homeowners (un país de propietarios) (Sambricio, 2003). In the 1970s, French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing advanced a political project to “make the French people own France” by making them homeowners, and “the French taste for property” has been a persistent idea within political rhetoric since the nineteenth century (Michel, 2006, 6). Should this desire be considered as citizens’ wishes or as a political framing and a policy choice? Raising this question leads us to look at the connections between the players who structure the housing arena. More precisely, it presses us to consider the effects of decisions made by some players on others’ preferences and choices.
KeywordsSocial Housing Housing Policy Housing Construction Housing Sector Housing Tenure
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