Social Housing in Post-socialist Europe : Lost in Transition / Sasha Tsenkova
Social Housing in Post-socialist Europe : Lost in Transition / Sasha Tsenkova. In "Mixité : an urban and housing issue? Mixing people, housing and activities as urban challenge of the future", 23ème colloque international de l'European Network for Housing Research (ENHR), organisé par le Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Solidarités, Sociétés, Territoires (LISST) à l'Université Toulouse II-Le Mirail, 5-8 juillet 2011.
Plénière 5 : End or future of the Social Housing. Looking beyond Europe, 7 juillet 2011.Housing reforms in post-socialist Europe are closely connected with the triple transition to democracy, markets and decentralized governance. Across the region the choices made with respect to social housing have become critical in defining the type of housing system that is emerging. The paper explores the experience of eight countries in South East Europe focusing on the impact of housing reforms on public housing with an emphasis on differences and similarities in privatisation, rent and allocation policies.It provides an overview of emerging trends in the financial support for the sector, including supply- and demand-based subsidies. While affordability constraints are growing, a handful of local governments, supported by central government subsidies, have had the political will to overcome some of the barriers to development of new social housing. It is argued that the combination of higher construction and operating costs, along with stagnant or even declining rents tied to household income limits, can undermine the viability of new social housing projects. In a regime of fiscal austerity, informal housing appears to be a more viable response to growing affordability problems in post-socialist cities. The concluding comments highlight major challenges for social housing and explore options for policy reforms in the region to address affordability and informality.