Conference Agenda

RN37_05b: The right to housing 2
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Patricia Pereira, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Location: BS.3.20
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road


Local Variations In Housing Affordability – How Do Cities Use Their Power To Alleviate Housing Affordability Problems In A Nordic Country?

Elina Sutela1, Jutta Juvenius2, Jarkko Rasinkangas1

1University of Turku, Finland; 2University of Helsinki, Finland

Housing affordability is a topical question in Europe. In many European countries housing prices are growing faster than income. Lack of affordable housing hits hardest to the poor population and often reinforces homelessness. It may also become both a physical and social barrier of entering and living the city. This is especially the case for low-income service workers and other key workers who are needed in the daily functions of the city.

Cities have a lot of power in housing questions. In this article, we look at local level of housing policies and cities’ role in housing affordability questions. This paper is a case study of three major cities in Finland. We will base the analysis on expert interviews and housing policy documents. In the analysis we ask, what are the aims of local housing policies, and how do the cities use their power to alleviate housing affordability issues.

Finland makes an interesting field for the case study: Finland is one of the Nordic countries and considered as a Nordic welfare state. Yet the housing policy is different from the other sectors of social policies: it is selective and market-driven. Finland is rapidly urbanizing, and the cost of housing is going up in the biggest cities. Especially in the Helsinki metropolitan area many residents are struggling to find housing they can afford. Still, the levels of homelessness are going down. The cities are major actors in housing sector: they have an autonomous status and monopoly on zoning. The cities are also the biggest and one of the last remaining producers of social housing.

Neoliberalization of Social Housing in Turkey: The Case of Kayaşehir

Duygun Ruben

Boğaziçi University

This study focuses on the neoliberalizing transformation of social housing in Turkey in the 2000s. The subject of urban transformation has been extensively studied in the Turkish case from the lens of neoliberalism/neoliberalization, albeit without a specific focus on social housing. In turn, the transformation of social housing in the AKP era has been studied from the perspective of welfare regime transformation. This study contributes to the literature by offering an account on the transformation of social housing in Turkey through the lens of neoliberalization.

This study initially argues that the gecekondus (informal settlements in Turkey) and the housing cooperatives, which have been historically widespread forms of housing provision in Turkey, can be interpreted as forms of social housing. Then, it explains how, in the AKP era, gecekondus and housing cooperatives have declined as forms of social housing provision and instead, social housing provision by a central state institution, the Mass Housing Administration, was established. In explaining these transformations, this study utilizes the concept of “actually existing neoliberalism”, which describes neoliberalization as a process containing both commodifying aspects and context specific factors depending on locality and temporality. Analyzing the transformation of social housing in the AKP era, this study identifies three “features” of neoliberalization of social housing in Turkey, namely commodification, redistribution and increased capacities of the state. Finally, this study traces these three features of the neoliberalization of social housing in Turkey in the biggest mass housing site constructed in Istanbul, namely Kayaşehir, through collecting information on Kayaşehir from primary sources and interviewing the residents.

Earthquake, Class Reconstruction and Pro-housing Resistance. From Shack to Landmark, a Case Study in Sicily

Pier Paolo Zampieri

university of messina, Italy

This work will examine a process of residential resistance in the district of Maregrosso (Messina) and connect it to the complex rebuilding process of the city in the aftermath of the great earthquake of 1908. The temporal coincidence of the earthquake, the very first national emergency, with the highest point of the modern urban science has produced in Messina an uncritically modernist isotopic urban model which has not included the poor social class within the historic part of the city. A whole social segment of inhabitants has been projected in an endless residential emergency along with a spatial emargination. The area of Maregrosso has undergone the phenomenon of the first post-earthquake shack building becoming a transition zone and still being ubanistically prisoner of such emergential impriting. Such a landscape has given birth to the story of the concrete modeller Giovanni Cammarata who has turned his unauthorised shack into an odd urban park halfway between a cathedral and a dialectical Disney park. This is iconographically connected to the traditional Sicilian heritage and the surrounding landscape. Leaving out this “total work” from the mere artistic interpretations (Outsider art), I will make a proposal of interpretation connected to the social history of the city as a cultural response to a modernist spatial model.