The housing crisis - we're told a shortage - masks a crisis of housing distribution where ownership marks the boundary. On one side of this boundary are renting households who enjoy a freedom of mobility denied to owner-occupiers. On the other side, owners can enjoy a leveraged bet on the housing market without the risk of eviction.
But what if the pressure to own is the very thing that rinses design value from our housing? Consumers will compromise on quality and space just to own any home but as their housing needs change in predictable ways, so the user costs of costs of moving can create a welfare trap characterised by small, lonely, inflexible or overheating homes.
It is therefore timely to explore the boundaries of ownership and ask what alternative tenures could exist if secure, stable, adaptable, sociable and economically sustainable housing was the goal. The prize is the restoration of design value and a pathway to appropriate housing in an age of financialisation.