European countries are currently experiencing a transformation of their welfare state models, especially the impact they have on their housing provision systems. Existing systems are highly dependent on macro-economic forces, the role played by relevant actors and previous decades of housing policy implementation. In Spain, although conditions after the Civil War were similar to those in the rest of Europe after the Second World War, a considerable divergence from European welfare models was already in evidence by the second half of the twentieth century. As has been pointed out (Sánchez-Mart'nez, 2002), the dictatorship and subsequent policies helped construct a 'modern' welfare state in which governments began to work less for the people and to delegate responsibilities for individual welfare as part of the so-called strategy of 'co-responsibility' (Garland, 1996). Unlike other European countries, Spain did not opt for the creation of a powerful sector of social rented housing in order to meet its most urgent demands nor did it promote a broad tenure system that would enable greater freedom of choice for households. Successive governments, invariably devoted to promoting homeownership, neglected the stimuli needed to enlarge the PRS as an alternative to social housing and failed to create a public rented sector on a par with those in many other European countries.
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