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Policy Transfer of Choice-based Lettings to Britain and Australia: How Extensive? How Faithful? How Appropriate?


  • Hal Pawson
  • Kath Hulse


This paper seeks to inject a new dimension into comparative housing research by exploring policy transfer in the case of choice-based lettings (CBL). Conceived in the Netherlands around 1990, CBL has attracted widespread interest in other developed countries as a 'consumerist' quasi-market technique replacing a traditionally bureaucratic process of regulating access to social housing. We examine the implications of importing the concept to two different social housing contexts—the UK and Australia. First, we identify the aspects of the CBL model found attractive in these jurisdictions and the extent to which it has been implemented in practice. Second, we explore how far it can be effectively operated within policy and institutional contexts substantially different from the country of origin. In ensuring compatibility with established institutional frameworks, has importation of CBL to the UK been rendered an empty gesture and to what extent have such frameworks acted as a barrier to the implementation of CBL in Australia? And, third, we consider the broader implications of the CBL case in relation to the international transfer of social policies as discussed in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Hal Pawson & Kath Hulse, 2011. "Policy Transfer of Choice-based Lettings to Britain and Australia: How Extensive? How Faithful? How Appropriate?," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 113-132.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:11:y:2011:i:2:p:113-132
    DOI: 10.1080/14616718.2011.573199

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