Precarious housing in the aftermath of the financial crisis: protecting owners and selling-out renters

Richard Waldron, Stephan Köppe

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Renters and owners experience not only different levels of housing precarity, but their very nature of precariousness is also different. The article advances our measurement of precariousness for homeowners and tenants and applies these in the case of Ireland with a focus on the impact of the financial crisis. Using EU-SILC data between 2008 and 2016 we investigate the prevalence and depth of housing precarity and the factors contributing to precarious housing by tenure type. This period is of particular relevance as policymakers focussed on protecting home-owners from the fallout of the property crash, while neglecting precarity experienced by renters.

Overall, we show that renters, and in particular social renters, experience a higher level of precariousness. This effect is independent of and more pronounced than the global financial crisis itself. Moreover, owners also recover very quickly compared to renters. Our socio-economic and labour market control variables show that besides tenure type the ability to save and a low consumer debt burden protect households from experiencing housing precariousness.We argue that the crisis response has shifted the tenure composition in similar liberal housing systems dramatically and has become under much more political pressure. Due to the increasing private rental sector, this one-sided protection of homeowners becomes politically less sustainable. Future crisis management will need to be more tenure neutral and consider wider policy responses beyond housing, such as financial literacy and consumer debt.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2024
EventHousing Studies Association Annual Conference 2024 - Sheffield, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Apr 202426 Apr 2024


ConferenceHousing Studies Association Annual Conference 2024
Abbreviated titleHSA 2024
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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