Welfare through regulatory means: eviction and repossession policies in Singapore*

Hanan Haber*, Nir Kosti, David Levi-Faur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The study and provision of welfare have long been synonymous with direct social spending. The provision of welfare through regulatory means poses a complementary perspective to the study of social policy. In this context, this paper focuses on policies aimed at preventing mortgage borrowers’ eviction and repossession in Singapore, a world leader in state-led owner occupancy but a welfare laggard in terms of social spending. The findings show a disparity between a high rate of arrears on housing credit, and a low level of eviction and repossession. We test several explanations for this disparity, and argue that it is the result of policy aiming to minimize eviction and repossessions. This policy is driven by institutional interdependencies within the state, which have tied citizens’ housing credit to other aspects of their individual welfare savings. The findings shed light on the central role of regulation in welfare.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)407-424
Number of pages18
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 16 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Welfare state
  • housing
  • public policy
  • regulation
  • social regulation


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