Toward Affordable Cities? Critically Exploring the Market-Based Housing Supply Policy Proposition

Steffen Wetzstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This article confronts the global affordable urban housing crisis by critically examining what has arguably become the dominant policy rhetoric in advanced economies: the accelerated market-based housing supply. This approach promotes efficient land and housing markets, fashions an enabling approach to planning, aims to deregulate development and building processes, and seeks to curtail local government and planning systems’ powers. These claims are juxtaposed here with heterodox literature strands, and—utilizing a multicity comparative ethnographical methodology—urban stakeholders’ perspectives in the Australasian housing crisis hotspots of Sydney and Auckland. The findings suggest a convergence of sobering stakeholders’ perspectives and critical, multifaceted literature claims. They thus demonstrate the fallacies of the market supply fetish in relation to generating affordability, and expose its status-quo-reproducing nature. The concluding reflections call for an intellectual and political engagement with the affordable city imaginary and associated policy strategies toward affordable futures for all.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-532
Number of pages27
JournalHousing Policy Debate
Issue number3
Early online date9 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Toward Affordable Cities? Critically Exploring the Market-Based Housing Supply Policy Proposition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this