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Social Housing after the GFC: Further Evidence

Social Housing after the Global Financial Crisis: Further Evidence

Editorial.

29.12.2017 | Teresio Poggio, Christine Whitehead | Volume: 4 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 1-7 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.2.381
Social Housing after the GFC: Further Evidence

Retrenchment and Social Housing: The Case of Finland

About 12 per cent of households in Finland live in social rental housing. The Finnish system of social housing is now facing challenges. Finland has reached a situation where large numbers of social rental dwellings are free from regulation because the state housing loans have been paid off, while new production of such housing is unable to make up for this loss. Potentially this means a decrease in the social rental housing stock. Current housing policy discourse sees social housing more as a failed policy than a necessary welfare measure. Such developments can be related to a larger change in the Finnish housing regime. It has entered a phase of retrenchment, where the government withdraws from its previous commitment to housing provision in order to give more room to market forces. Retrenchment has led to the strengthening of one of the basic features of Finnish housing policy, its selectiveness.

28.12.2017 | Hannu Ruonavaara | Volume: 4 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 8-18 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.2.382
Social Housing after the GFC: Further Evidence

A Tale of two Busts (and a Boom): Irish Social Housing before and after the Global Financial Crisis

This article examines the marked decline in Irish social housing’s traditional role as the main source of accommodation for low-income households. We argue that although this policy redirection has become clearly apparent in the context of the Global Financial Crisis; its roots are, in fact, much older. They lie, not in Ireland’s most recent fiscal crisis, but in the last one which occurred between the late 1970s and mid-1980s. Changes made to arrangements for funding social housing during this time effected a long-term contraction in the social housing’s contribution to total housing output which, in turn, precipitated growing reliance on housing allowance subsidised private rented housing to accommodate this group.  The post-GFC austerity merely accelerated this long-term trend rather than signalled a new policy direction.

27.12.2017 | Michelle Norris, Michael Byrne | Volume: 4 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 19-28 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.2.383
Social Housing after the GFC: Further Evidence

The French Social Housing Sector at the Crossroads of Budgetary Constraints and Social Missions

France has a high rate of production of new housing and the Global Financial Crisis has had little impact on a country of fixed-rate housing loans and strong guarantees for home-buyers. At the same time, the social rental sector, managed by a powerful network of public and private (not-for-profit) companies, has greatly increased its housing production thanks to the use of a financial mechanism that is independent of mainstream finance. Housing should be easily available throughout France. But this is not the case in the capital region and for some disadvantaged households. Critics regularly speak out against the deficiencies of French housing policies. Opponents of increased public spending consider that too much public money is being spent on this, while supporters of the free market say that the legal and institutional framework hinders private initiatives. Advocates of homeless people and low-income groups complain about the high cost of housing and segregation processes. This paper presents the debates and discussions regarding the pros and cons of housing policies in France at a time of severe budgetary constraints.

26.12.2017 | Jean-Pierre Schaefer | Volume: 4 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 29-38 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.2.384
Social Housing after the GFC: Further Evidence

Building Partnerships for Social Housing: Growing Housing Needs and Effective Solutions for Albanian Cities

Partnerships have a long history in European social housing with a mixed degree of success. They are an emerging model in post-socialist countries driven by budgetary constraints, rapid privatisation of public housing, and pragmatic efforts to respond to a complex housing affordability crisis. This article evaluates the challenges and opportunities of a new partnership model implemented in Albania to provide social rental housing. The project, launched in 2009, involves a legally defined partnership between central and local governments, the private sector, and an international financial institution. It has doubled the amount of municipal rental housing, addressing the needs of low- and mid-income households in Albania through the construction of 1,138 rental apartments for 4,300 people in eight cities. The allocation process, although politically charged, has been targeted. The partnership has capitalised on efficiencies, sound fiscal management, and cost and quality control. Despite some construction delays and potential concerns related to future sustainability, we argue that the partnership model is effective and has an important learning and innovation role for the future provision of social housing in Albania as well as in other post-socialist countries in South-East Europe facing similar challenges.

25.12.2017 | Sasha Tsenkova, Doris Andoni | Volume: 4 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 39-53 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.2.385
Social Housing after the GFC: Further Evidence

Mind the Poorest: Social Housing Provision in Post-crisis Romania

This paper reflects on recent social housing developments in Romania. It understands social housing as rental social housing and affordable housing, a differentiation that is not made at the national level and introduces a sub-type of affordable housing, which is little documented in current research and is here termed ‘self-help affordable housing’. The paper looks at the legacy of socialist housing and social housing before and after the crisis. It makes an important claim that needs further investigation: current social housing provision in Romania overlooks the poorest households. This has implications for the country’s political leadership; the capacity for financial and institutional innovation; and wider strategies for policy integration.

24.12.2017 | Catalina Turcu | Volume: 4 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 54-66 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.2.386
Social Housing after the GFC: Further Evidence

Social Housing Provided by the Third Sector: The Slovak Experience

This paper aims to describe the legislation of the social housing system in Slovakia and to analyse innovations in social housing provision. The paper contributes to the literature on innovative social housing solutions provided by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), or so-called third sector. The analysis reveals the main factors that may contribute to the success or failure of social innovations in housing provision by NGOs. Long-term community work, the education of future residents, and the participation of future residents in the construction of their homes are the main factors that support the spread of innovations in social housing. On the other hand, lack of cooperation from the government at all levels and low funding are the biggest constraining factors on innovation in social housing in Slovakia.

23.12.2017 | Mária Murray Svidroňová, Beata Mikušová Meričková, Juraj Nemec, Helena Kuvíková | Volume: 4 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 67-75 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.2.387
Social Housing after the GFC: Further Evidence

Utilising Social Housing during the Post-2009 Crisis: Problems and Constraints in the Case of Greece

How can European social housing institutions contribute to combating housing deprivation in the context of the post-2009 crisis? The paper examines the main issues and constraints in the Greek case by first questioning the extent of the immediate relevance of major established social housing models in western Europe vis-a-vis housing assistance for the needy and second by highlighting the exceptional conditions in the European South that make for very limited social housing sectors and a predominant bias in favour of widespread owner-occupation across all social classes. Both features are especially pronounced in Greece, where, in fact, social rented housing has never emerged as a viable model. Nevertheless, social housing assistance for renters based on fair allowances should be the main priority under the present crisis conditions, while ‘bricks-and-mortar’ social rented housing can only have a marginal role.

22.12.2017 | Dimitris Emmanuel | Volume: 4 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 76-83 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.2.388
Social Housing after the GFC: Further Evidence

The Provision of Socially Minded Housing in Cyprus: Examining Historical References and Addressing Recent Challenges from an Architectural Perspective

The purpose of this paper is to examine the recent challenges faced by stakeholders concerned with providing socially minded housing in Cyprus in view of the increased need for affordable housing in the five years after the financial crisis, which hit Cyprus in the spring of 2013 and impacted households. The demand was exacerbated by the influx of immigrants from South-eastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa in the same period. The paper discusses these challenges by examining the historical context of providing socially minded housing in Cyprus since the first institutional attempts were made in the years following the Second World War. The paper also presents some case studies, which are illustrated with design proposals that are the results of research in design by students and staff in the Department of Architecture of the University of Cyprus.

21.12.2017 | Andreas Savvides | Volume: 4 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 84-98 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.2.389
Social Housing after the GFC: Further Evidence

Independent Evaluation of Social Housing Operations: Challenges and Lessons to Be Learned

In recent years, the Evaluation Department of the Council of Europe Development Bank has conducted a series of independent evaluations of CEB-financed operations in the social housing sector targeting special vulnerable groups. Building on evaluation evidence and experience, two strategic issues are presented: the high level of complexity of such operations and the various facets of their sustainability. This paper underlines the significant learning and accountability potential of evaluations of social housing operations. At the same time, it underscores the added value of a holistic approach to evaluation, in the face of a simplistic, but currently predominant, output-oriented focus during monitoring.

20.12.2017 | Luigi Cuna | Volume: 4 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 99-106 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.2.390
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