The special issue “Varieties of Housing Regime Approaches” edited by József Hegedüs aims to discuss different theoretical concepts and their empirical relevance. It represents a unique collection of seven papers written by leading housing researchers in this field.
Iván Tosics has published an article in URBACT website on raising the importance of local solutions for the social and economic affects of the Covid-19 crisis that is hitting the poorest. Tosics explores in this article what URBACT’s role could be on finding local solutions.
The full article is available in English on this link.
The article “Social Housing in Post-crisis Hungary: A Reshaping of the Housing Regime under ‘Unorthodox’ Economic and Social Policy”, authored by MRI Managing Director József Hegedüs is available on the website of Critical Housing Analysis.
Hungary 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.
The article “The effect of GFC on tenure choice in a post-socialist country – the case of Hungary”, co-authored by József Hegedüs (Metropolitan Research Institute), Adrienne Csizmady (Hungarian Academy of Sience) and Gyula Nagy (FHB Bank) was published in Issue 2, 2017 of International Journal of Housing Policy. The paper takes a look at the effect of the Great Financial Crisis (GFC) on housing tenure choice in a post-socialist setting, based on the case of Hungary. Central and Eastern European transition countries had a very predominant owner occupied sector prior to the GFC, where owner occupied dwellings typically amounted to 85-95 percent of the housing stocks. The paper sets out to assess if stakeholders in the housing sector (households, government, banks, etc.) will learn from these experiences, and start showing a stronger preference and support for renting, which could result in a more balanced tenure structure and more stable housing system.