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postgraduate thesis: Subsidized housing, life chances and poverty alleviation : evidence from Guangzhou, China

TitleSubsidized housing, life chances and poverty alleviation : evidence from Guangzhou, China
Authors
Issue Date2015
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chen, H. [陳慧瑋]. (2015). Subsidized housing, life chances and poverty alleviation : evidence from Guangzhou, China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5435626
AbstractThe research explores the relationship between housing and poverty in urban China, using subsidized housing as the strategic focus. It is guided by the question “Is poverty alleviated through subsidized housing?” A framework is constructed on the basis of the theoretical discussion about the attributes of housing and the dimensions of poverty. Given the prolonged and evolving nature of anti-poverty efforts and their effects, particular emphasis is placed on processes of poverty alleviation. Therefore, the study adopts a qualitative before-and-after research design to reveal nuanced information about ex-ante, interim and ex-post living in subsidized housing from the perspective of residents. Contextualized in Guangzhou, this study examines the evolution of subsidized housing and urban poverty. The configuration of welfare provision is then outlined to see the role of subsidized housing in relation to other social benefits. An overview of subsidized housing estates in the city is followed by an introduction to the current situation in four selected subsidized housing estates, as well as a snapshot of the ongoing and accumulative process. Furthermore, it analyzes the life trajectories of residents who have either voluntarily moved or been forced out. The richness of the residents’ experiences sheds light on the ways in which housing assistance could act as springboard for or deterrent to self-sufficiency. The study has several important findings. First, the association between housing and poverty is found to depend on the extent of de-commodification that is a function of the maturity of the market mechanism and the subsidiarity of the welfare regime. Housing hardship in Chinese cities has been increasingly related to poverty since the housing reform in the late 1990s. However, commitment to poverty alleviation in housing policy rhetoric has only been implicit, and subsidized housing is not coordinated with other programs in the welfare system that impact on poverty, thus undermining its anticipated anti-poverty effects. Second, a process of differentiation is unfolding among both current and former residents in different subsidized housing estates. Subsidized housing is an improvement over the options that low-income people would otherwise have, and it provides immediate improvement in physical conditions. However, more profound changes can only be cultivated over the long term. If households manage to develop resilient capacity during their residence in subsidized housing, there is a greater possibility of an improved trajectory. Third, two issues are noteworthy in relation to rising out of poverty. The first is the need for adequate staff in proportion to the concentration of low-income people. The second is avoiding the “benefit cliff”, which influences residents’ movement back and forth between subsidized and non-subsidized housing with those penalized with stringent sanctions likely to become returners. The thesis argues that subsidized housing could work as a lever for change to reduce poverty in urban China and suggests that poverty alleviation should be taken into account in the provision of subsidized housing in the future.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectPoverty - China - Guangzhou
Public housing - China - Guangzhou
Dept/ProgramUrban Planning and Design
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222427

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChen, Huiwei-
dc.contributor.author陳慧瑋-
dc.date.accessioned2016-01-15T23:13:02Z-
dc.date.available2016-01-15T23:13:02Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationChen, H. [陳慧瑋]. (2015). Subsidized housing, life chances and poverty alleviation : evidence from Guangzhou, China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5435626-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/222427-
dc.description.abstractThe research explores the relationship between housing and poverty in urban China, using subsidized housing as the strategic focus. It is guided by the question “Is poverty alleviated through subsidized housing?” A framework is constructed on the basis of the theoretical discussion about the attributes of housing and the dimensions of poverty. Given the prolonged and evolving nature of anti-poverty efforts and their effects, particular emphasis is placed on processes of poverty alleviation. Therefore, the study adopts a qualitative before-and-after research design to reveal nuanced information about ex-ante, interim and ex-post living in subsidized housing from the perspective of residents. Contextualized in Guangzhou, this study examines the evolution of subsidized housing and urban poverty. The configuration of welfare provision is then outlined to see the role of subsidized housing in relation to other social benefits. An overview of subsidized housing estates in the city is followed by an introduction to the current situation in four selected subsidized housing estates, as well as a snapshot of the ongoing and accumulative process. Furthermore, it analyzes the life trajectories of residents who have either voluntarily moved or been forced out. The richness of the residents’ experiences sheds light on the ways in which housing assistance could act as springboard for or deterrent to self-sufficiency. The study has several important findings. First, the association between housing and poverty is found to depend on the extent of de-commodification that is a function of the maturity of the market mechanism and the subsidiarity of the welfare regime. Housing hardship in Chinese cities has been increasingly related to poverty since the housing reform in the late 1990s. However, commitment to poverty alleviation in housing policy rhetoric has only been implicit, and subsidized housing is not coordinated with other programs in the welfare system that impact on poverty, thus undermining its anticipated anti-poverty effects. Second, a process of differentiation is unfolding among both current and former residents in different subsidized housing estates. Subsidized housing is an improvement over the options that low-income people would otherwise have, and it provides immediate improvement in physical conditions. However, more profound changes can only be cultivated over the long term. If households manage to develop resilient capacity during their residence in subsidized housing, there is a greater possibility of an improved trajectory. Third, two issues are noteworthy in relation to rising out of poverty. The first is the need for adequate staff in proportion to the concentration of low-income people. The second is avoiding the “benefit cliff”, which influences residents’ movement back and forth between subsidized and non-subsidized housing with those penalized with stringent sanctions likely to become returners. The thesis argues that subsidized housing could work as a lever for change to reduce poverty in urban China and suggests that poverty alleviation should be taken into account in the provision of subsidized housing in the future.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshPoverty - China - Guangzhou-
dc.subject.lcshPublic housing - China - Guangzhou-
dc.titleSubsidized housing, life chances and poverty alleviation : evidence from Guangzhou, China-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5435626-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineUrban Planning and Design-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5435626-

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