The Private Rented Sectors in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland: A Case Study in Convergence Analysis

A Hayden, PF Gray, U McAnulty, C O'Malley, B Jordan

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The theme of this paper centres on the divergence and convergence of housing policy in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as reflected in the development of the private rented sector (PRS) in both jurisdictions.Using a historical comparative analysis of keyindicators, this paper aims not just to present an accurate picture of the state of policy towards the PRS in both jurisdictions, but to situate this analysis within the overall development of the two housing systems. The paper postulates that while Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are both reflective of the Anglo-Saxon tradition in housing, historical factors have led to different housing pathways and clearly identifiable differences in policy outcomes. Housing policy and housing tenure mix in both jurisdictions diverged significantly during the twentieth century, showing examples of path dependency at work, but there is clear evidence of convergence in recent decades. The withdrawal from direct social housing provision and the changing role of the private rented sector are examined and an example of convergence theory at work is analysed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-441
JournalInternational Journal of Housing Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


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