Low-income housing in high-amenity areas: Long-run impacts on residential development
Thorsnes, Paul; Alexander, Robert; Kidson, David
Centre-left governments from the 1940s into the 1970s developed several large areas in the urban fringe of Dunedin, New Zealand for low-density, mostly single-family public rental housing. The public housing in these areas is now accessible, well endowed with natural amenities, and allocated to very low-income households. Analysis of sales of private housing reveals the expected discount on sales of nearby houses. But analysis of the influence of spatial variation in natural amenities on incomes and structural characteristics indicates large-scale effects of the public housing developments: diversion of higher-income housing to other suburban areas and possibly maintenance of older high-quality housing in central areas. Interestingly, centre-right governments may have opened the door to market forces by encouraging tenants to purchase their public rental house. We find evidence that the recent increase in house prices has encouraged relatively high income households to purchase ex-state rentals in these high natural amenity areas.
Publisher: University of Otago
Series number: 1115
Keywords: housing; local public goods; neighbourhood amenities
Research Type: Discussion Paper