Jacobs, K., Travers, M.
Governmentality as critique: the diversification and regulation of the Australian housing sector
(2015) International Journal of Housing Policy, 19 p. Article in Press.
As the housing affordability crisis in Australia deepens, policy-makers have expended considerable resources in establishing new regulatory practices to enhance the role of the community housing sector. Ostensibly, the rationale for a new tier of regulation is to assure potential institutional investors (e.g. pension funds, investment trusts and banks) that community housing organisations are accountable and safe places to invest. Our paper adopts an alternative reading of diversity and housing regulation, drawing upon the governmentality thesis advanced by Michel Foucault in an empirical study about the early stages of regulation of affordable housing providers. Amongst our claims are: first, that policies to diversify and regulate the housing sector constitute a radical political project to commercialise welfare provision and second, these policies are likely to generate additional bureaucratic burdens and close off possibilities for progressive reform. The paper also considers the value of the governmentality approach for critical investigations in the field of housing. © 2015 Taylor & Francis
Australia; Foucault; governmentality; housing policy; regulation