Neighborhood rehabilitation and policy transfer
In the mid-1980s, Britain initiated a new neighborhood regeneration program based on a US model, Neighborhood Housing Services. Both programs are based on a partnership between residents, the private sector, and local governments. The central objective of the British government was to reorient British national housing rehabilitation policy from its traditional public-sector, grant-based programs to the private-sector, loan-based system which characterizes US policy. The British program, Neighbourhood Revitalisation Services (NRS), began as a pilot program in four cities and was expanded to twenty-five more neighborhoods. Data suggest considerable reluctance among British homeowners to tap their own savings or borrow money to make home improvements in the NRS neighborhoods. That reluctance may stem from some disincentives built into the early stages of the new program. Thus, at least in the short term, the data suggest that the transition to the US private-sector model has not been readily embraced by British homeowners. In the long term, the success or failure of the policy transfer effort is likely to hinge on whether British homeowners can be convinced that the private-sector approach is here to stay and that a change of governments will not bring a return of the long-established public-sector model with its grant-based foundation.
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