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Housing Financialisation and Families

Financialisation, Home Equity, and Social Reproduction: Relational Pathways of Risk

Financialisation, Home Equity, and Social Reproduction: Relational Pathways of Risk

This paper argues that financialisation exacerbates gender inequity in the United States. During the Recession, wealth-stripping activities targeted single female homeowners prompting severe asset depletion among single women, people of color, and those who depend on them. Rather than protecting them from risk, their home equity and bodies absorbed the failures of capitalism within their network. The paper draws on a thematic analysis of interviews with 21 single female homeowners who experienced mortgage default. Rather than focusing on risk incidence, I take their relational pathways as the object of inquiry demonstrating how activities of gendered care work act as conduits and amplifiers of financialised risk that extends the responsibility for unpaid social provision throughout the lifespan. The analysis demonstrates how their status as homeowners positioned them in between market failures and the consequences of austerity thereby restructuring the function of home equity.

7.12.2018 | Amy Castro Baker | Volume: 5 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 27-34 | 10.13060/23362839.2018.5.2.440
Social Housing after the GFC: Further Evidence

Retrenchment and Social Housing: The Case of Finland

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

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

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

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: New Trends across Europe

Social Housing in Europe: Legacies, New Trends and the Crisis

Social Housing in Europe: Legacies, New Trends and the CrisisEditorial.
29.6.2017 | Teresio Poggio, Christine Whitehead | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 1-10 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.3.1.319
Social Housing after the GFC: New Trends across Europe

Crisis? What Crisis? Social Renting in Flanders (Belgium) beyond the Financial Crisis

Crisis? What Crisis? Social Renting in Flanders (Belgium) beyond the Financial CrisisIn this paper we look at the position of social renting in Flanders after the GFC. It is argued that the GFC has hardly affected the production levels of social rental dwellings. On the contrary levels remain higher than before the GFC. Starting from that, we briefly illustrate what the current debates in social rental housing are.
25.6.2017 | Pascal De Decker, Jana Verstraete, Isabelle Pannecoucke | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 40-51 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.1.323
Social Housing after the GFC: New Trends across Europe

Social Housing in Post-crisis Hungary: A Reshaping of the Housing Regime under ‘Unorthodox’ Economic and Social Policy

Social Housing in Post-crisis Hungary: A Reshaping Housing Regime under ‘Unorthodox’ Economic and Social PolicyHungary stepped on a very specific path two years into the Global Financial Crisis and the recession in its wake, on which it replaced ‘traditional’ austerity programs with ‘unorthodox’ economic policy. This policy paradigm shift affected the emerging social housing policy in two respects. First, the mainstream approach to social problems related to worsening housing affordability (due to increased loan repayments and other cost items together with decreasing incomes) provided strong support for the middle class. Second, intervention toward low income households remained minimal, and served only to pacify political tensions. This dual approach characterized the policy of the government, and resulting shift in the social structure did not necessarily follow the direction policy makers intended. Programs aimed at the middle class were poorly targeted, and often helped the upper middle class the most, who again did not behave the way policy makers expected (which would have been increased consumption to stimulate economic growth). Programs aimed at low income groups rendered the social structure more rigid, decreased the chance of low income persons to escape from extreme poverty, and cemented the opportunity discrepancies between the rich and the poor. The most recent housing policy measures suggest that the mistakes committed in the 2000s will likely be repeated, and there are not measures in place which could correct their course.
20.6.2017 | József Hegedüs | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 90-101 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.1.328
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

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 market

Firms 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.

31.12.2016 | Jacek £aszek, Krzysztof Olszewski, Joanna Waszczuk | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 1-12 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.286
Special issue on Nature-Home-Housing: Greening and Commoning of Urban Space

Urban Green Space in Transition: Historical parks and Soviet heritage in Arkhangelsk, Russia

Urban Green Space in Transition: Historical parks and Soviet heritage in Arkhangelsk, Russia

Urban green space was largely underestimated as a potential for healthy and liveable environments in the state socialist countries. In Soviet Russia, green in the city was part of urban planning but more as a proclamation and mostly implemented in a top-down-manner. During postsocialist transformation, economic restructuring dwarfed the debate on urban nature and greening. Within last years, we see a change here: Urban nature for residential quality and well-being has become more relevant for people, their perceptions and daily practices. The paper analyses the development and main characteristics of urban green spaces in Arkhangelsk, Russia. It discusses the importance of urban nature for human well-being, housing and its contribution to social cohesion and local identity. The paper argues that urban greening is not only a planning tool to create liveable and healthy urban environments but also an important strategy in awareness raising and public involvement activities.

24.12.2016 | Diana Dushkova, Dagmar Haase, Annegret Haase | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 61-70 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.300

Reference Housing Costs for Adequate Dwellings in Ten European Capitals

Reference Housing Costs for Adequate Dwellings in Ten European Capitals

Providing adequate housing at affordable prices remains a challenge for all welfare states. As part of a pilot project for developing a common methodology for reference budgets in the European Union, reference rents and other housing costs (energy, taxes, maintenance) corresponding to adequate dwellings for four hypothetical households living in nine capital regions of the EU were estimated. In this paper, we discuss the approach that we have taken. Quality criteria for adequate housing were derived from EU indicators of housing deprivation, and the recent UK Housing Standards Review. We used data from the Study of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) of 2012. Unsurprisingly, the estimates of reference rents vary strongly across capitals, reflecting cross-national differences in the level of the average rent. By contrast, other housing costs, which mainly reflect energy costs, vary much less.

29.6.2016 | Karel Van den Bosch, Tim Goedemé, Nathalie Schuerman, Bérénice Storms | Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 1-9 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.2.1.248

Housing as Asset Based Welfare: A Comment

Housing as Asset Based Welfare: A Comment

This 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.

28.6.2016 | Christine Whitehead | Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 10-18 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.1.249

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 Research

This 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.

27.6.2016 | Mark Stephens | Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 19-29 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.1.250
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

28.6.2015 | 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?

27.6.2015 | 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 Risk

Housing 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.

26.6.2015 | Stephan Köppe | Volume: 2 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 42-51 | 10.13060/23362839.2015.2.1.175
Special issue on Housing Asset-Based Welfare

Housing Market and Family Relations in a Welfare State

Housing Market and Family Relations in a Welfare State

One 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.

23.6.2015 | 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 Hungary

This 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.

22.6.2015 | József Hegedüs, Hanna Szemzõ | Volume: 2 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 82-90 | 10.13060/23362839.2015.2.1.179

The Housing Market Reform Agenda: A Review of a Recent Housing Policy Document in the Netherlands

The Housing Market Reform Agenda: A Review of a Recent Housing Policy Document in the Netherlands

The Dutch Cabinet published its Housing Market Reform Agenda on 17 September 2013. This paper describes the main features of the Agenda and presents an ex-ante evaluation of this policy document. The introduction of a landlord levy is one of the biggest inconsistencies in this Agenda. The Housing Market Reform Agenda is particularly critical of housing associations. There are good reasons to throw away the bath water, but the baby (= the housing association) should be nurtured.

29.1.2014 | Hugo Priemus | Volume: 1 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 9-16 | 10.13060/23362839.2014.1.1.25
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