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Social Housing after the GFC: New Trends across Europe

The Social Homeownership Model – the Case of Norway

The Social Homeownership Model – the Case of NorwayThis article gives a brief overview of recent developments in Norwegian social housing emphasizing the years after the global financial crisis (GFC). In Norway, mass homeownership has been an important part of social housing in the post-war period. The GFC led to a more rigorous housing finance system, which in turn affected the possibilities of young adults entering homeownership. Nevertheless, the share of young homeowners has been stable or even growing in recent years. Today, social housing mainly refers to a rather marginal system providing housing for the most vulnerable groups.
24.6.2017 | Hans Christian Sandlie, Lars Gulbrandsen | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 52-60 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.1.324
Social Housing after the GFC: New Trends across Europe

More Social Housing? A Critical Analysis on Social Housing Provision in Spain

More Social Housing? A Critical Analysis on Social Housing Provision in SpainSince the 1950s Spain has developed a set of policies aimed at stimulating ownership through subsidies mainly in the form of interest rates or mortgage quotas to developers and households neglecting other forms of housing provision, for instance social rent. That system provided one off benefit to the developer and/or the purchaser and could not be reused to help other households. The financial crisis in 2008 evidenced the weakness of the Spanish housing system in providing affordable and secure shelter by means other than homeownership. The existent housing provision system failed to avoid the large number of evictions while simultaneously banks became owners of a large amount of empty dwellings. To some extent, the severity of the situation exerted considerable political pressure to devise a new framework for action to alleviate the housing problem in Spain. In this paper based on the post -crisis evidence we argue the need to reformulate approaches to provide adequate and affordable housing for certain collectives in Spain
17.6.2017 | Montserrat Pareja-Eastaway, Teresa Sánchez-Martínez | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 124-131 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.1.331
Social Housing after the GFC: New Trends across Europe

Moving to a New Housing Pattern? New Trends in Housing Supply and Demand in Times of Changing. The Portuguese Case

Moving to a New Housing Pattern? New Trends in Housing Supply and Demand in Times of Changing. The Portuguese CaseThis article aims to explain the effects of the recent economic and financial crisis on housing conditions and the ability of Portuguese families to access housing. It also intends to discuss how the crisis is reconfiguring the housing patterns, in terms of access to housing and changes in public policies, questioning the predominant mode of access to housing based on homeownership. This article also discusses the role of social housing in the Portuguese housing system and the changes and challenges in this sector coming from the economic and financial constraints of families and the state. This article is structured in three parts. The first is an overview of the Portuguese housing system and social housing in particular, highlighting the conditions and reasons that led to a reduced social housing stock and to the predominance of homeownership. The second part discusses the impact of the crisis on families and the state, trying to demonstrate how the constraints on both are translated into (1) worsening housing conditions, (2) a diversification of groups struggling to access housing in the private market and (3) a reduction of affordable housing, pressing the social housing sector. Finally, the third part is a reflection on the changes that the crisis has had in the orientation of housing policies and their instruments, arguing that the patterns of the Portuguese housing system are changing with emphasis on the need to diversify the housing supply to increasingly diverse groups in housing need.
16.6.2017 | Teresa Costa Pinto | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 131-141 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.1.332
Special issue on Nature-Home-Housing: Greening and Commoning of Urban Space

Post-Soviet Housing: “Dacha” Settlements in the Tashkent Region

Post-Soviet Housing: “Dacha” Settlements in the Tashkent RegionThe post-Soviet period has been witness to a rather difficult process of establishing a new socio-economic and political system in Uzbekistan. The housing question was significantly resolved within the U.S.S.R., while currently the issue of housing has become exacerbated mainly due to the privatisation of the existing housing stock. However, as more young people now enter adulthood, the need for affordable housing once again comes to the forefront in Uzbekistan - namely in Tashkent, a place attracting the youth from all other regions. This research paper focuses on one of the housing solutions in the Tashkent Region: particularly the reconstruction of summer houses, or dachas, into permanent homes for year-round living. The findings are based on several observations from the field and expert interviews with local dacha residents during the summers of 2015 and 2016. The revival of a traditional lifestyle, combined with the modernisation and “Euro-style” of Uzbek houses, represents a case of “indigenous modernities”.
30.12.2016 | Hikoyat Salimova | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 43-51 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.297
Special issue on Nature-Home-Housing: Greening and Commoning of Urban Space

Participatory Design Processes for the Development of Green Areas of Large-scale Housing: Case Studies from Budapest and Riga

Participatory Design Processes for the Development of Green Areas of Large-scale Housing: Case Studies from Budapest and RigaLarge housing estates (LHE) found in CEE countries can be seen as a legacy of socialism. Their endurance in these countries is still evident: the future of LHEs is substantially linked to their physical and social characteristics formed during socialism and their decline in status in Hungary and Latvia. The Western European practice of urban rehabilitation and community initiatives has gained more and more ground (sometimes literally) as of late. Our paper examines this phenomenon by analysing examples of converted green space of LHEs in two former socialist cities - a neglected and underused former “traffic park” in Budapest and a typical LHE “courtyard” overgrown and unused in Riga. We focus on the conversational process and the participatory approach of inhabitants and analyse how the redesigning of green areas involving local communities can lead to inhabitants feeling more at home in this housing structure.
30.12.2016 | Adrienne Csizmady, Sandra Treija, Zsuzsanna Fáczányi, Péter István Balogh | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 17-25 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.294

Monopolistic Competition and Price Discrimination as a Development Company Strategy in the Primary Housing Market

Monopolistic competition and price discrimination as a development company strategy in the primary housing marketFirms operating in the property sector use information asymmetry and the local monopoly to differentiate prices of housing units. Selling similar housing to purchasers at various prices allows them to maximize profits. The aim of this article is to analyze empirically the behavior of developers, that shape the market situation. It is necessary to depart from the classical analysis of enterprises that operate in a free and competitive market and produce typical, homogeneous goods. We analyze firms that produce heterogeneous goods and make individual trans-actions with each client. We use the hedonic regression to compare the theoretical and empirical prices per sq. m. of dwelling in the primary market in Warsaw and find significant dispersions. The price discrimination strategy, can be one of the explanations of the observed high, upward elasticity of prices.
29.7.2016 | Jacek £aszek, Krzysztof Olszewski, Joanna Waszczuk | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 1-12 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.286

The Use of Esping-Andersen and Kemeny’s Welfare and Housing Regimes in Housing Research

The Use of Esping-Andersen and Kemeny’s Welfare and Housing Regimes in Housing ResearchThis article provides a critique of the use of Esping-Andersen and Kemeny’s typologies of welfare and housing regimes, both of which are often used as starting points for country selections in comparative housing research. We find that it is conceivable that housing systems may reflect the wider welfare system or diverge from it, so it is not possible to “read across” a housing system from Esping-Andersen’s welfare regimes. Moreover, both are dated and require revisiting to establish whether they still reflect reality. Of the two frameworks, Esping-Andersen’s use of the state-market-family triangle is more geographically mobile. Ultimately, housing systems are likely to be judged on the “housing outcomes” that they produce. However, it is suggested that current use of variables within EU-SILC in order to establish “housing outcomes” may be misleading since they do not reflect acceptable standards between countries with greatly differing general living standards and cultural norms.
2.6.2016 | Mark Stephens | Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 19-29 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.1.250

Housing as Asset Based Welfare: A Comment

Housing as Asset Based Welfare: A CommentThis paper aims to provide a contribution to the debate about housing as asset based welfare begun in this journal in 2015. It suggests that there are strong reasons associated with life cycle earnings and consumption why owner-occupation can be a desirable option, especially for older households. However owner-occupation can be a high risk option for less well-off households while increasing both inequality across income groups and particularly through its impact on inter-generational income and wealth. Even so, housing inequalities, despite all the market failures associated with its provision and allocation, are more an outcome of broader economic fundamentals. Moreover housing policies can improve the lived experience for many. Policies should aim to provide a tenure neutral-taxation environment but also to reduce credit and other constraints to entering owner-occupation. At the same time there must be support for those with inadequate income to achieve acceptable housing standards.
12.5.2016 | Christine Whitehead | Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 10-18 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.1.249
Special issue on Housing Asset-Based Welfare

Housing: Asset-Based Welfare or the ‘Engine of Inequality’?

Housing: Asset-Based Welfare or the ‘Engine of Inequality’?Editorial
10.7.2015 | Mark Stephens, Martin Lux, Petr Sunega | Volume: 2 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 22-31 | 10.13060/23362839.2015.2.1.173
Special issue on Housing Asset-Based Welfare

The Janus Face of Homeownership-Based Welfare

The Janus Face of Homeownership-Based Welfare

This paper reflects on the different faces of asset-based welfare from both a theoretical and an empirical perspective. It shows that asset-based welfare can be perceived as a lever for welfare state restructuring but also as an instrument for poverty eradication. In most countries, asset-based welfare policies focus on stimulating home-ownership. The general idea is that by becoming a homeowner, households build up equity that can be released for care and pension purposes in old age. However, there are signs that such policies increase inequality between homeowners (depending on the location of the dwelling and/or the period in which it was bought), but particularly so between homeowners and tenants. We therefore contend that home-ownership based welfare policies need a clear and fundamental specification of the role of the government: how to deal with housing market risks and how to prevent politically unacceptable levels of inequality and exclusion?

10.7.2015 | Marja Elsinga, Joris Hoekstra | Volume: 2 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 32-41 | 10.13060/23362839.2015.2.1.174
Special issue on Housing Asset-Based Welfare

Housing Wealth and Asset-Based Welfare as Risk

Housing Wealth and Asset-Based Welfare as RiskHousing wealth has been viewed as the main route to asset-based welfare. Accumulated wealth is supposed to provide more in the way of welfare services than just shelter, services such as a net pension and the financing of long-term care. This paper challenges this view and highlights the new risks attached to acquiring and managing housing wealth. Although assets may provide a nest egg in old age, earlier on in the life cycle they leave mortgagers disproportionately exposed to financial and housing market risks and amplify susceptibility to existing social risks such as unemployment or sickness. In contrast to social insurance schemes, assets individualise social risks and leave it to the individual to smooth housing consumption over their life. This lack of risk pooling constitutes a new and hidden social risk that should be considered in the discussion around homeownership.
10.7.2015 | Stephan Köppe | Volume: 2 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 42-51 | 10.13060/23362839.2015.2.1.175
Special issue on Housing Asset-Based Welfare

Homeownership-Based Welfare in Transition

Homeownership-Based Welfare in TransitionWelfare-state restructuring featuring the use of equity held in owner-occupied housing assets to offset declining public welfare resources and diminishing pension reserves – a form of ‘homeownership-based welfare’ – has become increasingly prominent in many developed economies in recent decades. This paper, focusing on the UK, examines the shifting position of homeownership, arguing that while the private home has become a key component of welfare restructuring, both owner-occupation and housing equity have become more polarised in the last decade, especially across cohorts. A particular concern is whether passive homeownership-based welfare switching strategies have become more active, or even pro-active, strategies to housing property accumulation as a means to compensate for welfare state retrenchment and anticipated pension shortfalls leading up to and since the Global Financial Crisis. We identify the significance of the rapid advance of a ‘generation landlord’ in the recent development of ‘generation rent’.
10.7.2015 | Richard Ronald, Justin Kadi, Chris Lennartz | Volume: 2 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 52-64 | 10.13060/23362839.2015.2.1.176
Special issue on Housing Asset-Based Welfare

Homebuying: a Critical Perspective on Financial Costs and Gains

Homebuying: a Critical Perspective on Financial Costs and GainsIn Britain, the shift from the ideology of homeownership into one of homeownership-based welfare has been sustained by homebuyers being regarded as investors. Homeowners are expected to create a synergy between the owned house seen as a space of shelter, place of home and increasingly, an investment vehicle and an object of debt. Drawing on 80 interviews with owner-occupiers and national data on house prices and mortgages, we examine the way in which the meanings of home meanings are negotiated through the subjective calculation of the financial costs and gains of homebuying. We explore homebuyers’ debt amnesia, their miscalculation of gains and their disregard of inflation. However homebuyers’ financially unsophisticated understanding of the asset-home arises less from book-keeping complexities or difficulties in pricing the emotional domain of the home, but rather by them instinctively considering the alternative cost of a rented space of shelter. From this financial perspective and given affordability, homebuying illustrates a misleading ideological notion of choice.
10.7.2015 | Adriana Mihaela Soaita, Beverley Ann Searle | Volume: 2 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 65-73 | 10.13060/23362839.2015.2.1.177
Special issue on Housing Asset-Based Welfare

Housing Market and Family Relations in a Welfare State

Housing Market and Family Relations in a Welfare StateOne idea widespread in current discourse on the ageing population speaks of the ‘intergenerational inequity’ between the elderly and the young. This assumption overlooks the extensive lifetime financial transfers from older to younger generations that occur within families. Housing wealth may reinforce inequalities over generations, but this wealth also provides an opportunity to assist offspring in entering the housing market. The increase in house prices in recent years has put parents in an even better position to provide financial support. Instead of following the distributional principles that guides redistribution within the welfare state, this distribution may reproduce or even increase social inequalities. Intergenerational inequalities in economic prosperity may therefore also lead to intragenerational inequalities between those who have parents that can help and those who do not. However, this type of inequality may strengthen rather than weaken family solidarity.
10.7.2015 | Hans Christian Sandlie, Lars Gulbrandsen | Volume: 2 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 74-81 | 10.13060/23362839.2015.2.1.178
Special issue on Housing Asset-Based Welfare

The Role of Housing Assets in Shaping the New Welfare Regime in Transition Countries: The Case of Hungary

The Role of Housing Assets in Shaping the New Welfare Regime in Transition Countries: The Case of HungaryThis paper looks at housing strategy in a wider social and economic context and argues that a household’s (class) position in society depends on important life decisions, one of the most important of which is a person’s employment strategy and preparation for the period of retirement (pensions), which is related to housing decisions. The main context of these decisions is the welfare regime, but also a country’s economic structure (varieties of capitalism) and housing system (tax and subsidy elements of programmes). However, as the paper argues, these systems are also changing in relation to the macro effect of individual decisions.
10.7.2015 | József Hegedüs, Hanna Szemzõ | Volume: 2 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 82-90 | 10.13060/23362839.2015.2.1.179

Do Homeowners Have More Social Capital? A Quantitative Approach

Do homeowners have more social capital? A quantitative approachAbstract: Behind the support of homeownership in many countries, there is wide belief that homeownership creates better citizens. Recognizing that homeownership is a more time-intensive form of tenancy than renting, but also that the valuation of some forms of social capital is complementary to the residential property value, we hypothesize that ownership will reduce engagement in some forms of social interactions and increase it in others. We show that activities relating to local community tend to be encouraged by ownership, whereas others, like political involvement, are not. We conclude homeowners are selective in their investments in social capital and predominantly engage in social interactions where the investments can be capitalized through higher value of their homes.
8.2.2015 | Gintautas Bloze, Morten Skak | Volume: 2 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 11-21 | 10.13060/23362839.2015.2.1.158
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