Housing crisis and its impact on adequate housing

Institute for Sociology, Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence, Budapest

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József Hegedüs


Dr. Adriana Diaconu, Université Grenoble Alpes, Pacte - Laboratoire de sciences sociales, Grenoble, France

Dr. ing. Gerard van Bortel, Assistant Professor of Housing Management, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TUD, Delft, Netherlands


Budapest Methodological Centre of Social Policy, Budapest, Hungary

Housing Europe, Brussels, Belgium

Centre for Development of Non-Profit Organisations, Zagreb, Croatia

Research project

Housing systems in Europe have to deal from time to time with problems that have a long-term impact on housing affordability, such as the last financial crisis in 2008. These systems have become increasingly vulnerable to volatility, threatening the sustainable reproduction of economic growth and social life. Lately, housing is increasingly seen as a means of wealth creation rather than a social good: housing is increasingly commodified. The growing and dominant role of financial markets and companies in the housing sector has resulted in unaffordable and inadequate housing and discrimination. According to the United Nations, the right to adequate housing encompasses security of tenure; availability of services and materials; facilities and infrastructure; affordability, habitability, accessibility, location and cultural adequacy. Strong social policy measures are essential to have a housing sector capable of addressing these issues.

The promotion of adequate housing is a holistic problem that must be addressed with a systematic approach. The purpose of this research work is to understand the reasons why housing shortage became a social and economic problem, exploring the causes behind the changes in housing needs and the differences between needs and opportunities of cohorts and households with different status. A comparative study of policies, regulatory and financial instruments that can help create housing tenures which reflect current housing needs will be conducted. The investigation will focus on countries with different housing systems (liberal, social democrat; continental, Mediterranean and transitional). The possible roles of public policy in shaping the attractiveness of certain housing conditions will also be investigated. Ultimately, an analysis of best practices will result in a set of general policy recommendations for decision support, as well as guidelines for policy makers, professionals and housing providers to encourage rental and other forms of tenure beyond home ownership.

A mixed methodology will be applied in this project, including desktop research, policy analysis, case studies, action research, surveys, interviews, and focus groups. Case studies of good practices in several European countries will be identified with the collaboration of partner organisations supervising the secondments.

->To conduct an individual research project, interlinked with the other ESRs projects, focusing on:
  • Housing finance policies in the current political and economic contexts of the EU and their relationship with national housing systems
  • Financial innovations that have proven to be effective to face the housing crisis in Europe
  • Best practices of regeneration programmes to make housing more inclusive and affordable in different political and social contexts
  • Methods for analysing changes in tenure types over time and space
  • Identifying the causes of changing housing needs
->To participate in the network-wide activities (workshops, summer schools, conferences)
->To carry out the training required by the PhD programme of the host university

As part of the individual research project, ESRs will carry out four secondments, each of 1 to 2 months, in the partner organisations.

ESRs are expected to have completed a doctoral thesis that can be defended at the host institution within or shortly thereafter the project lifetime.

Host university

The ESR will work with researchers from the Institute of Sociology, Centre for Social Sciences (CSS), the leading research institute for sociology in Hungary and apply for one of the PhD programs in social sciences. The Institute is one of the largest social science research institutions in Central Europe performing research activities mainly in the fields of sociology, political science, network science, minority studies and law. CSS staff comprises 180 national and foreign researchers. The Urban and Environmental Research group is currently working on several international research projects dealing with housing affordability, energy poverty, tourism, sustainability and rural development. The project “Societal challenges of energy use” investigates the social and environmental effects of disparities in access to energy and energy use on households living in energy poverty, and households using energy effective and smart energy solutions. The “Families in housing crisis” project aims at providing a structural picture of the housing crisis at the macro (policy) and micro (household) level in Central and Eastern Europe. The H2020 “Ruralisation” focuses on the process of ruralisation as counterforce to urbanisation and its goal is to find out stimulating opportunities for economic and social sustainability within a rural context.


Dr. Adrienne Csizmady (

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