Third-party funded project

Housing Policy under the Conditions of Financialization. The Impact of Institutional Investors on Affordable Housing in European Cities (HoPoFin)

Research department: Politics and Planning

Project Leader within IRS: PD Dr. Matthias Bernt Dr. Georgia Alexandri

Consortium: Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (Coordination) Humboldt University of Berlin Catholic University Louvain Birkbeck College University of Leeds Malmö University Politecnico di Milano 1863

Funding Organization: Institut d’études politiques de Paris

Duration: 01/2023 - 06/2023

The study is prompted by the enduring and worsening housing affordability crisis, the increased involvement of institutional investors, and the limited effectiveness of policy programs, present in many European cities. The interrelation of these developments poses a challenge for new research. Thus, the project focuses on three main questions: a) What is the impact of institutional investors on affordable housing supply (both in existing housing and new developments)? b) What housing policy strategies and measures to control, regulate and cooperate with institutional investors are implemented and designed? and c) What is the policy-making process in relation to institutional investors?

The research project has an explorative character. Its main proposition is that an advanced understanding of the impact of financialization on housing affordability can only be achieved when the financialization of housing economies is integrated with highly variable and changeable forms of public policies enacted in different contexts. This enables a more nuanced analysis that combines “global-relationality and territorial-embeddedness” (McCann, Roy and Ward 2013: 584). To embrace the varieties of housing policies and market dynamics, the project relies on a comparative case study design amongst cities that are representatives of different housing systems. We have therefore selected a total of seven cities (Athens, Berlin, Brussels, London, Malmö, Milan, Warsaw) which represent different magnitudes of institutional investors in defining housing affairs, as well as a broad variety of housing political pathways and instruments.

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