Nóra Teller presented her findings on Housing Mobility Patterns in Segregated Neighbourhoods in Uppsala, Sweden, in Plenary 3 of European Network of Housing Researchers’ 2018 annual conference. The presentation explored the patterns of housing choices of those who have lived in segregated neighbourhoods and how the households’ choices interplay with broader social issues like economic inequalities, ineffectiveness of housing policies and broader discrimination on the housing market. Based both on case studies and quantitative data the above-mentioned processes were presented, focusing on Roma poverty neighbourhoods’ developments and policies addressing segregation mechanisms.
Spatial exclusion processes across post-transition countries have resulted from an interplay of political, economic and institutional changes. Migration to and from urban areas, densification of suburban areas and selected neighbourhoods have created room for segregation and displacement of marginalized groups. At the same time, urban renewal, regional development and housing policies, coupled with restrictive social protection reforms have contributed to an increase in the gap between middle-class homeowners and trapped groups on the margins, who have not only been pushed to the margins of the housing market but also have concentrated in areas with decreasing housing values. Individual household housing choices have thus become more and more spatially restricted, especially in those cases where national housing subsidy programs have been made available for better-off households and labour markets have concentrated in regions out of the reach of poor commuters. The spatial concentration of poverty coupled with the concentration of excluded ethnic groups has brought about specific responses in urban and regional development policies. However, these policies necessarily remain limited in scope and effectiveness because they can seldom transform poor households’ individual housing choices and other players’ housing strategies. Also, they can seldom change economic and institutional settings for more sustained and balanced spatial arrangements. Spatial isolation of marginalized groups has been exacerbated through the exclusion from quality services of both children and parents, which further increases the social divide between neighbourhoods with a high presence and quick reproduction of poverty versus neighbourhoods with higher status. This has again reinforced serious limitations to spatial mobility and migration because of the high value gap and transaction costs, which represent a stronger constraint in super super-homeownership countries like Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria, where the share of private home owners is above 95%.