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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: Further Evidence

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

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

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

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

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
Social Housing after the GFC: New Trends across Europe

"Just Another" or A "Genuine" Change in Slovenian Social Housing Strategy?

This paper provides an overview of developments affecting Slovenian social housing after the country’s transition to a market economy. It analyses the Slovenian institutional framework, its functioning and critically evaluates its sustainability. The economic and social impacts of the global financial crisis saw the sector face strong challenges and revealed its weaknesses. A new strategic document was adopted in 2015 to respond to the situation. Although this new document offers a transition to the more sustainable and better provision of social housing in practice, it is still too early for optimism since it would not be the first time in Slovenia that a strategic document has primarily remained only on the declaratory level.
19.6.2017 | Andreja Cirman | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 102-111 | 10.13060/23362839.2017.4.1.329

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 Łaszek, 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

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 Riga

Large 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.

29.12.2016 | Adrienne Csizmady, Sandra Treija, Zsuzsanna Fáczányi, Péter István Balogh | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 17-25 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.294
Special issue on Nature-Home-Housing: Greening and Commoning of Urban Space

Public Gardening and the Challenges of Neighbourhood Regeneration in Moscow

Public Gardening and the Challenges of Neighbourhood Regeneration in Moscow

The popularity of public gardening in post-Soviet countries has arisen quite recently along with the penetration of neoliberal ideas. Public gardening not only visually improves the environment, but it also creates a range of public spaces and “other” places in which urban citizens can come together; eventually it could help to enhance the image of distressed neighbourhoods. Such community initiatives can be divided into sanctioned intervention and unauthorised intervention (“commoning”); unauthorised intervention is when residents are displeased with their surroundings and attempt to improve their environment in their own way. This paper explores the limitations of the practices of commoning as a source of regeneration and compares its cultural dimensions. In this paper I discuss the initial results of an ongoing research project focused on the expectations of people involved in these forms of participation. During this process, the differing typical understandings and perceptions of urban gardening in public and semi-public spaces will be applied.

28.12.2016 | Elena Ivanova | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 26-32 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.295
Special issue on Nature-Home-Housing: Greening and Commoning of Urban Space

“Green” Utopia of the Uralmash: Institutional Effects and Symbolic Meaning

“Green” Utopia of the Uralmash: Institutional Effects and Symbolic Meaning

The article examines ideological and institutional role of the “greening” policy in the Soviet urban planning practice of 1920-1930s. Relying on the example of the socialist city of Uralmash in Yekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk) the author traces how the idea of the “green city” affected the development of the urban settlement in terms of its functional mechanism and symbolic transformation. By analyzing the logic of the Uralmash “green” policy and its main narratives he argues that successful improvement of the post-Soviet green zones depends not so much on the new urban city-planning initiatives as on the new symbols and meanings that could give a clear vision of these spaces in the current social and cultural context.

25.12.2016 | Mikhail Ilchenko | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 52-60 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.298
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

The Apartment with the Best Floor Plan Layout: Architects versus Non-architects

The Apartment with the Best Floor Plan Layout: Architects versus Non-architects

This study examined differences in the floor-plan preferences of architects and laypersons with no architectural education or experience (non-architects). Qualitative data on floor-plan preferences were collected using interviews and an online survey. The floor plans used in the online survey were differentiated primarily by spatial arrangements and included the original layout of a socialist prefab apartment and two contemporary redesigns of the space. The results showed significant differences in the floor-plan preferences of architects and non-architects. Topological properties of layout and a required level of privacy were identified as key factors influencing the between-group differences. Architects and non-architects disagreed in particular over how the public and private zones were defined and arranged in the apartment layouts. From the perspective of architectural practice, understanding non-architects’ preferences can decrease the uncertainty in new product development for an unknown end user and increase residential satisfaction.

26.6.2016 | Irena Boumová, Jana Zdráhalová | Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 30-41 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.1.264
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 Szemző | Volume: 2 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 82-90 | 10.13060/23362839.2015.2.1.179

State - Market - Family Triangle Revisited: Visualizing and Expanding a Housing Studies Theoretical Tool

State - Market - Family Triangle Revisited: Visualizing and Expanding a Housing Studies Theoretical Tool

This short paper revisits and revises the over-used State-Market-Household triangle as a theoretical analytical tool, proposing its repositioning at the centre of Housing and Welfare Studies, and reopening the debate. It is shown that this tool does not remain useful for researchers alone but also as a means to a more effective communication of results to a wider non-specialist audience. Towards this goal two conceptual adaptations are proposed. Firstly, the addition of the time parameter in assessing the triangle’s transformations from one era to another, or comparing systems with similarities but on different evolutionary phases. Secondly, the – by default – understanding of the triangle as a dynamic configuration, due to inter and intra-polar shifts.

27.6.2014 | Panagiotis - Dimitrios Tsachageas, Mark Stephens | Volume: 1 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 63-69 | 10.13060/23362839.2014.1.2.116
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