Decomposing Housing Unaffordability

A US household is considered ‘rent burdened’ when its rent exceeds 30% of its income. This simple ratio can be decomposed to better understand the sources of unaffordability across space. To demonstrate this new approach, I rewrite the equation for rent burden as a sum of four factors: rent gap, income gap, excess size cost, and demographic baseline, and show that US rental unaffordability is mostly the result of low incomes. Focusing on the New England region, however, I show that high rent is the primary cause of unaffordability in high-cost, high-wage metro areas. This decomposition can help affordability advocates prioritise strategies appropriately across space.

6.5.2021 | Salim Furth | Volume: 8 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 62-71 | 10.13060/23362839.2021.8.1.523

An Analysis of the Holiday Rental Issue in Spain

Holiday lets and holiday rentals have generated a major debate in recent years in Spain with regard to their regulation. Their impact, not only on tourism, but also on urban sustainability and local planning, have led to public intervention to control their expansion. This article analyses the origin of holiday lets, their problems, and how the public authorities have intervened in this regard, thus providing an overview of the impact of this type of accommodation in Spain.

5.5.2021 | Nicolas Alejandro Guillen Navarro | Volume: 8 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 47-61 | 10.13060/23362839.2021.8.1.522

Normalisation of the Speculative Frame Method and Its Application to the Housing Market in Poland

This article proposes the normalisation of the speculative frame method for identifying real estate bubbles, price shocks, and other disturbances in the real estate market. This index-based method relies on time series data and real estate prices. In this article, the speculative frame method was elaborated and normalised with the use of equations for normalising data sets and research methodologies. The method is discussed on the example of the Polish housing market.

22.3.2021 | Justyna Brzezicka, Radosław Wiśniewski | Volume: 8 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 36-46 | 10.13060/23362839.2021.8.1.521

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Private Rental Housing Market in Poland: What Do Experts Say and What Do Actual Data Show?

The aim of the article is to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the level of housing rents using the example of the City of Krakow. This study is based on objective data on rental prices and subjective information obtained from real estate agents using a questionnaire survey. The research revealed that the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic actually led to a 6-7% decrease in prices in the rental market in Krakow, while at the same time the surveyed real estate agents had estimated that rents would drop by about 13%. With the second wave of the pandemic, it is possible to see that its immediate impact, i.e. between the third and fourth quarter of 2020, has led to a further 6.25% drop in rents. It should be noted that the latter decrease was very accurately predicted, both by the survey respondents and by the econometric models used. Finally, the results of the analysis also indicated that the worsening of the pandemic in the last quarter of 2020 will have a significant impact on rent levels in Krakow for all of next year. Regardless of how the economy develops, rental prices are forecast to fall further in 2021q1. However, in the subsequent quarters of 2021, rents are projected to increase, but ultimately their level will not return to pre-pandemic values even in 2021q4. The latter is likely to happen only in the second half of 2022.

18.3.2021 | Mateusz Tomal, Bartłomiej Marona | Volume: 8 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 24-35 | 10.13060/23362839.2021.8.1.520

Welfare State and the Gender Dissimilarity Index in Homelessness. A Comparison of Norway, Belgium and Poland

This article investigates the structural underpinnings of gender dissimilarities in homelessness from a comparative perspective. The Gender Dissimilarity Index is introduced as a simple measure for quantifying the unevenness of the distribution of men and women across the ETHOS-light categories. Three gendered aspects of the welfare state are considered and compared for Norway, Belgium, and Poland: employment and childcare, housing, and homelessness policies. Based on available data, it appears that the most uneven distribution of genders may indicate a combination of the promotion of the male breadwinner model and relatively broad support for people who are homeless, but also the shortage of affordable housing. A more gender-balanced homeless population may be the result of a combination of housing-led approaches and degenderising policies. However, a similar distribution may be attributed to states with implicitly genderising policies coupled with ‘traditional’ attitudes towards gender roles and a lack of adequate responses to women’s needs.

17.3.2021 | Magdalena Mostowska | Volume: 8 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 11-23 | 10.13060/23362839.2021.8.1.519

Interpretation and Representation in Housing Policy Discourse as Exemplified by Council Tenants’ Participation in the Jazdów Estate (Warsaw)

The goal of this paper is to demonstrate the usefulness of the What’s the Problem Represented to Be approach (WPR), a tool of policy analysis developed by the Australian political scientist Carol Bacchi to examine the discursive representations of council tenants’ participation in connection with the inclusion of council housing tenants from the Jazdów Estate in the decision-making process relating to local housing policy in Warsaw. The article identifies two discursive representations of council tenants’ participation: (1) council tenants as an expected passive audience in top-down policymaking and (2) the limited acceptance of the agency of council tenants in policymaking. It was found that in Warsaw - or at least in the case of Jazdów - the political and discursive interpretation of tenants’ participation is primarily associated with the act of informing and less often with public consultation or the co-production of housing policy.

16.3.2021 | Aleksandra Zubrzycka-Czarnecka | Volume: 8 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 1-10 | 10.13060/23362839.2021.8.1.518

Housing Market Access in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area: Between the Financial and the Pandemic Crises

The Portuguese housing market underwent major transformations between 2010 and 2020. Until then, a delicate but resentful stability had long existed, with distorted rent schemes and low annual price increases proportional to the national economy and the income of the Portuguese population. After the financial crisis, several internal and external variables converged to dramatically change this scenario. In recent years, a growing number of researchers have centred their attention on the difficulties that the Portuguese urban middle-class populations are facing in trying to find homes. This paper analyses these challenges and their impact quantitatively, focusing on the affordability of housing for purchase or rent and considering synthetic indicators for average household incomes in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area between the beginning of 2016 and the end of 2019. The results show that the cost of buying or renting a house in the main Portuguese urban system has become much more detached from local incomes. The article concludes with reflections on the structural reasons for the enduring inequalities in the housing markets and the difficulties recognising territorial cohesion and spatial justice as important elements shaping urban and housing policies in Portugal.

24.11.2020 | Gonçalo Antunes, João Seixas | Volume: 7 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 58-72 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.2.515

Short-term Rentals, Housing Markets and COVID-19: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Evidence from Four Austrian Cities

Prior to the onset of the pandemic, evidence on the conversion of regular rental housing into permanent holiday homes has fuelled concerns that Airbnb and other short-term rentals contribute to the shortage of affordable homes and to the displacement of regular residents in cities with high housing demand. When the pandemic set in, the media was quick to speculate that holiday homes would be returned to the regular rental market. This paper provides some theoretical reflections on the factors that are driving and impeding such a development and presents preliminary results from an ongoing research project that empirically traces the impacts of COVID-19 on the rental housing market based on an analysis of real estate listings in four large Austrian cities. We argue that a current shift to the regular rental market is likely, but that the medium- and long-term development is uncertain. Empirically, we demonstrate that such a shift has occurred in all four cities considered. We do not find evidence, however, that the increased rental housing supply has dampened rent levels.

23.11.2020 | Justin Kadi, Antonia Schneider, Roman Seidl | Volume: 7 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 47-57 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.2.514

The Challenges of the Redevelopment of Old and Dilapidated Buildings in Mumbai: A Policy Perspective

Affordable housing is the biggest challenge being faced by the city of Mumbai, which styles itself as an emerging Global Financial Centre. The city has the image of being home to a stark dualism, with slums abutting modern skyscrapers. Over the years, adequate policy attention has been given to slums and with the implementation of the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme slum dwellers are being provided with housing in multi-storey buildings and are being granted tenancy rights to the dwellings. However, an emerging area of concern is the large housing stock that is non-slum but is old and dilapidated. The collapse of an old and dilapidated building in Dongri in July 2019 that killed twelve people and the one at Bhendi Bazaar in 2017 that killed thirty-three has brought this problem into the mainstream and new policies have been initiated to address the problem. Implementing these policies seems to be a challenge, and this is the result of different factors. This article looks at the housing problem in Mumbai from a policy perspective and analyses the implementation challenges of the new policy aimed at redeveloping the old and dilapidated housing stock.

14.11.2020 | Satish M.K. | Volume: 7 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 36-46 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.2.513

The Spatial Correlation between the Spread of COVID-19 and Vulnerable Urban Areas in Santiago de Chile

This article identifies the spatial correlation between the social determinants of health in the housing area (housing prices, overcrowding, poor-quality building materials, and household socioeconomic vulnerability) and the spread of COVID-19 in Santiago de Chile. The research used data from the 2017 Census conducted by the National Institute of Statistics of Chile and data on confirmed cases of COVID-19 (PCR) by communes provided by/obtained from Chile’s Ministry of Health. The article provides a two-fold examination/analysis of the spatial correlation using the Pearson measure to observe how the virus spread from areas with high-quality housing in the early stage of the contagion to then become concentrated in areas with low-quality of housing. The second examination/analysis is a multiple linear regression to identify the housing factors that inform virus propagation. The test results show that of the four social determinants of health relating to housing assessed here, housing prices is the variable that best predicts how the social determinants of health based on housing explain the progress of the pandemic for the Santiago case, following the collinearity factors according to the data used in this study. The conclusions suggest that public policy should treat housing quality as a factor in public health and health risks that needs to be addressed with a transdisciplinary approach to urban planning in Chile.

29.10.2020 | Francisco Vergara-Perucich, Juan Correa-Parra, Carlos Aguirre-Nuñez | Volume: 7 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 21-35 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.2.512

How to Support Social Resilience in Tsunami-Devastated Communities: Iwanuma Case Study

This paper describes the post-disaster reconstruction in the Tohoku region after the 2011 earthquake. Nine years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami occurred, and many efforts have been made since to rebuild the devastated territories. Some Japanese architects and urban planners have seen the recovery as a window of opportunity to aim for more resilient cities. Nevertheless, building disaster-resilient communities remains a challenging task. This short paper presents the initiatives made to improve refugees’ social conditions in disaster-relief housing, using the case study of Iwanuma’s relocation project. Concluding remarks suggest that many efforts have been made to improve the social aspect of disaster-relief housing in Japan, for example through the development of community spaces or the pursuit of friendlier dwellings.

28.10.2020 | Camille Cosson | Volume: 7 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 11-20 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.2.511

Choice or No Choice? Genuine or Fake Choice? – A Qualitative Study for Reflecting on Housing Choice

This paper seeks to reflect on issues related to the nature of housing choice, drawing on qualitative empirical data collected in in-depth interviews.  This paper discusses two perspectives related to housing choice, namely, the ‘market perspective of housing choice’ and the ‘perspective of housing choice for well-being’. The ‘market perspective of housing choice’ highlights that desirability generally increases with a greater range of housing choice as the housing supply increases till a climax is reached, after which a further expansion of housing choice may indicate an excess housing supply, which may not be advantageous and home-buyers may instead ‘decide not to choose or buy’.  The ‘perspective of housing choice for well-being’ reveals that choice in the housing arena is often viewed as a means to eventual well-being, rather than as an end in itself.  Housing choice is ‘genuine’ and ‘meaningful’ if there are meaningful and significant options among a few desirable housing alternatives. ‘Fake housing choice’ involves having to choose from among housing options that are all generally bad.

27.7.2020 | Betty Yung, Barbara Y.P. Leung | Volume: 7 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 1-10 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.2.510
Varieties of Housing Regime Approaches

Introduction to the Special Issue: Varieties of Housing Regime Approaches


8.6.2020 | Hegedüs, József | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 1-4 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.498
Varieties of Housing Regime Approaches

Rethinking the Concept of ‘Housing Regime’

‘Housing regime’ is a term that is used relatively often in (macrosocial) research comparing housing policies and systems. However, there is no generally accepted definition of this term. In this paper I shall first scrutinise previous uses of the concept, starting with a discussion of the most famous regime concept – the welfare regime. The discussion paves the way for a redefinition of a ‘housing regime’: the set of fundamental principles according to which housing provision operates in some defined area (municipality, region, state) at a particular point in time. Such principles are thought to be embodied in the institutional arrangements that relate to housing provision, in the political interventions that address housing issues, and as in the discourses through which housing issues are customarily understood. This definition is compatible with the path-dependence approach that has been adopted here and with the aspects of reality that researchers want to capture using the ‘regime’ concept.

7.6.2020 | Hannu Ruonavaara | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 5-14 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.499
Varieties of Housing Regime Approaches

Incremental Change in Housing Regimes: Some Theoretical Propositions with Empirical Illustrations

The durable structures of housing and housing institutions are often subject to long-term processes of incremental change. Nevertheless, housing studies have largely focused either on static snapshots of policies or, more recently, on the inertia of institutional path dependence, while processes of incremental change have been almost entirely neglected. Political scientists (Streeck/Thelen/Mahoney) have proposed a typology of patterns of incremental institutional change, and this paper explores the applicability of this typology to housing structures and housing institutions. We draw on empirical illustrations from the housing literature to show how five types of change – layering, conversion, displacement, drift, exhaustion – apply to housing structures and institutions. We conclude with some general observations on how the typology can be used in further studies of developments in national housing regimes.

6.6.2020 | Bo Bengtsson, Sebastian Kohl | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 15-24 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.500
Varieties of Housing Regime Approaches

Using Path Dependence Theory to Explain Housing Regime Change: The Traps of Super-Homeownership

The goal of this paper is to demonstrate the usefulness of path dependence theory to explain the convergence of housing regimes among post-socialist countries, both at the beginning and in the later phases of housing-regime transformation. We especially seek to show the selected common traps that were recently created by the legacy of giveaway privatisation and the super-homeownership regime, traps that increase intergenerational inequality, which to now has been effectively mitigated by within-family financial transfers.

5.6.2020 | Martin Lux, Petr Sunega | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 25-35 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.501
Varieties of Housing Regime Approaches

Classifying Housing Regimes. Is it Worth Doing? What are the Alternatives?

Comparative housing research is hindered by attempts to provide broad empirical categorisations of types of Housing Regimes and their equivalents and sweeping cross-country generalisations about their effects. Regime theory is right to recognise the housing provision is and can be organised in different ways but proselytises too strongly. Real issues and policy debates in countries are instead embedded in the existence of specific, tenure related, networks of housing provision and they widely differ across the world. Taking that on board can lead to more fruitful understandings.

4.6.2020 | Michael Ball | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 36-48 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.502
Varieties of Housing Regime Approaches

Understanding Housing Development in New European Member States - a Housing Regime Approach

The paper will address the development of housing regimes in the new EU member states,introducing the analytical framework of a housing sector matrix to classifyforms of housing by tenure andintegration mechanism. Thus, ourhousing sector matrixcombines two common approaches: thestructure of housing provision (Ball and Harloe 1992) and the tenure-focused approach (Kemeny 1981, 1995). Starting from this rough typology of housing provisions, we also take further factors that have a major impact on the behaviour of stakeholders/actors into consideration, namely the legal/regulatory environment and the subsidy/tax system, to define the housing regimes. In its analysing of the development of the new member states the paperdifferentiates between global factors (economic development model, countries’ position in global economic structures, etc.) and local factors like the political/power structure, mainstream social ideology, the interplay betweendifferent stakeholders, etc. Institutional analyses (Bengtsson and Ruonavaara 2010) that take path-dependent factors into account are thus best able to address the process by which new housing regimes emerged in post-socialist countries and the degree to which we find convergence/divergence trends. The paper analyses three junctures in the development process after 1990: radical changes after the collapse of the old system; the development of the mortgage market and the regulation of the social sector at the turn of 2000; and reactions to the financial crisis of 2008. The paper concludes that the new member states are following the same trajectory despite their institutional differences.

3.6.2020 | József Hegedüs | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 49-62 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.503
Varieties of Housing Regime Approaches

Integrating Varieties of Capitalism, Welfare Regimes, and Housing at Multiple Levels and in the Long Run

The title conveys all the elements of this article. The typologies of capitalist economies, the typologies of welfare regimes, and the typologies of rental and owner-occupied housing regimes should be synchronised and combined, not selectively, but systematically. Integration will have to determine the multiple levels to which these typologies can be applied and on which they can interact. Owing to the persistence of housing institutions and buildings, a long-term (historical) view is also suggested – at all levels of analysis.

2.6.2020 | Walter Matznetter | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 63-73 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.504
Varieties of Housing Regime Approaches

Comparing Local Instead of National Housing Regimes? Towards International Comparative Housing Research 2.0.

This paper makes a plea for a new form of international comparative housing research, in which not countries (national housing regimes) but cities or regions (local housing regimes) are the unit of analysis. Why do we need such a new comparative research approach? How can a local housing regime be conceptualised? By answering these questions, the paper attempts to lay the conceptual foundation for international comparative housing research 2.0.

1.6.2020 | Joris Hoekstra | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 74-85 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.505

Exploring Young Europeans’ Homeownership Opportunities

Even before the 2008/9-crisis but certainly afterwards, trends in labour, housing and mortgage markets combined with welfare reform, making it more difficult for each new cohort of young Europeans (25-34) to complete the transition to ‘residential independence’, particularly to become a homeowner. This paper explores ‘trends in homeownership opportunities’, using data from EU-SILC (2005-2018). It takes a broader perspective by exploring trends in its social selectivity, as well as changes in the ‘attributes’ of homeownership over time. Young adults’ homeownership opportunities have declined almost everywhere in Europe, but to varying extents. Furthermore, a more socially selective group of young homeowners seems to be entering properties of lower quality in locations with fewer services. Deteriorating homeownership opportunities are strongly associated with mortgage lending restrictions, indicating that trends in housing and broader financial markets/policies are important explanatory factors. I also find indications that the transition to homeownership is being pushed beyond the commonly-used age-threshold of 34 years.

31.5.2020 | Caroline Dewilde | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 86-102 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.506

Towards a Political Economy of the Private Rental Sector

This article sets out a theoretical framework for the political economy of the private rental sector, with a particular focus on the question of inequality. It brings together three existing bodies of research. First, macro-accounts of social stratification and wealth inequality. Second, Marxian critiques of the antagonism between accumulation and social reproduction. Third, qualitative accounts of tenants’ experiences of housing inequality. The article synthesizes these three literatures to put forward a political economy approach which can capture the multi-dimensional and multi-scale nature of both ‘housing’ and ‘home’ in the private rental sector. In so doing, it contributes to recent research on ‘generation rent’, in particular the related class and generational inequalities, as well as wider debates on the political economy of housing.

30.5.2020 | Michael Byrne | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 103-113 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.507

Financialised Privatisation, Affordable Housing and Institutional Investment: The Case of England

Historically, public and affordable housing has been provided by the state in close conjunction with local authorities, public housing developers, and other social housing providers. Yet, affordable rental homes are now increasingly being managed, produced, or acquired by private equity firms and other institutional investors. In this contribution, we argue that ‘financialised privatisation’ is a helpful concept for understanding these shifts in state-finance compromises within the post-crisis affordable housing sector. Drawing on the case of England, we first discuss the major mechanisms of financialised privatisation and examine how an increasingly polymorphous affordable housing sector has emerged with a focus on multi-tenure and mixed-income housing tenures. We then discuss the possible challenges of this transformation and conclude that it remains very much a question whether a privately funded housing system will emerge that provides genuinely affordable housing and reduces inequalities.

29.5.2020 | Gertjan Wijburg, Richard Waldron | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 114-129 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.508

Subsidised Housing? The Paradoxical Imaginaries of Finnish Non-Profit Rental Housing

As a developed welfare state, Finland has a long history of and continuing political support for housing policies, ranging from non-profit rental housing to owner-occupied housing supported by tax deductions. The current neoliberal critique, however, has questioned the efficiency and moral foundations of the established policies. This critique has taken as its target the difference between market rents and non-profit rents, citing this as an instance of ‘alternative costs’ for the city and, as such, as a form of subsidy that is unjustly distributed. However, the full picture of different housing subsidies – including those received by owner-occupiers – is not usually considered.  The paper concludes that the current debate does not take into account the ways in which different subsidies interact in the approaches used to provide affordable housing in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. As such the critique becomes tacitly political, although it is represented in terms of rationality and justice.

28.5.2020 | Johanna Lilius, Kimmo Lapintie | Volume: 7 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 130-139 | 10.13060/23362839.2020.7.1.509
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