GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
Housing affordability by housing tenure in the Gulf economies
Paper Proposal Text :
Much has been said about the need to provide affordable housing in the Gulf economies since 2011 onwards yet there are few measurements of affordability in the discussion. This paper will seek to make some calculations of affordability for the latest period for economies where data are available. Government household surveys will be used in the main together with other data sources. The paper will distinguish between rented housing and owner-occupied housing and will seek to identify which tenure has the greater affordability challenge in each of the economies studied.

A discussion of the measures of affordability to be used will be needed to establish the measurement base and answer some key questions of definition and what is included in the measures of income and housing cost for rented and owner-occupied tenures. The housing cost to income ratio is one set of affordable housing measures that will be used. The other is the residual income approach.

The affordability findings will feed into some discussion about the tenure patters in these economies. Surprisingly little is known about the housing tenure patterns in the Gulf region yet this is a major outcome of the housing system after the systems approach to housing. The debate about affordable housing in the Gulf envisions the solutions almost wholly in terms of owner-occupied housing where citizens own their own homes. Perhaps this is because of the social contract that exists between rulers and people in Gulf societies, at the heart of which lies re-distribution of the oil wealth. Yet the rental tenure is likely to have an important role to play in the range of affordable housing solutions for many households. The paper will look to see whether rental housing offers more affordable housing for households. One of the conclusions of the paper may be that rental housing needs to be embraced as a valid affordable housing option. This will depend on the findings of the affordability analysis.
If time permits, otherwise in a later paper, the analysis will look at housing tenure patterns by age of the head of household. Research suggests that the greater differences in housing tenure between countries occur amongst younger households. This is very relevant for the affordable housing debate in the Gulf region which has such a young age profile.