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'Buy Your Home and Feel in Control' Does Home Ownership Achieve the Empowerment of Former Tenants of Social Housing?


  • Reinout Kleinhans
  • Marja Elsinga


Encouraging home ownership is an important aim of housing policy in many countries. It is supposed to have positive effects on individual households and on society as a whole. This article focuses on the effect of home ownership on former tenants of social rented housing in the Netherlands. The central issue is whether becoming a home owner increases one 's sense of freedom and security in the home, one 's sense of control over one 's life, and one 's self-esteem. In other words, to what extent is buying a house a way of empowering individuals and households? Many Dutch housing associations are currently devising sale policies with the aim of empowering their tenants and providing more freedom of choice. We present the results of telephone surveys of 535 Dutch former tenants who bought their social rented dwelling and 602 others who decided not to buy their dwelling. The main question is: to what extent do these two groups differ in their scores on empowerment scales based on earlier research. Scales of 'perceived control over life', 'self-esteem' and 'housing-related empowerment' were adapted and measured among respondents of both groups. The results show that tenants who became home owners score higher on the control scale than tenants, but this difference can be explained by other background variables. Moreover, home owners score higher on the scale of housing-related empowerment, but lower on the scale of self-esteem, net of other factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Reinout Kleinhans & Marja Elsinga, 2010. "'Buy Your Home and Feel in Control' Does Home Ownership Achieve the Empowerment of Former Tenants of Social Housing?," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 41-61.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:10:y:2010:i:1:p:41-61
    DOI: 10.1080/14616710903573757

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    Cited by:

    1. Richard SENDI & Barbara Èerniè MALI, 2015. "Surviving In Limbo: An Insight Into Slovenia’S Informal Private Rented Housing Sector," Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 10(4), pages 19-39, November.


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