In Italy, from 2008 to present day, the global economic crisis has had a large impact on the housing market. Scholars agree that what is critical to this housing crisis is not a lack of supply, but rather the erosive effects of impoverishment, unemployment, a precarious job market, and indebtedness that challenge access to housing. Indeed, housing problems no longer affect only the weakest part of the population, but increasingly also other segments: the (lower) middle-class – impoverished by the crisis, burdened by austerity measures, and neglected by housing policies – as well as young couples, workers with little job security, elderly people, and migrants. In the public debate, these households are usually acknowledged as a ‘grey area’ of housing need: their income is not sufficiently low to qualify for social housing, and yet, they cannot completely fulfil their housing needs on the free market. They clearly represent a largely unmet demand. In such a context, it is important to highlight that the affordability crisis depends as much on the housing market dynamics and housing policy as it does on local planning and development decisions. Such decisions are inherently political and depend on ideological positions towards housing (for example the ideological stance regarding owner-occupation as the privileged tenure), but also on the interaction between politics and the private interests surrounding the land and construction sector. The case of Rome is particularly well-suited to investigate the interplay of housing system and local development and institutional factors. By inquiring why the housing supply in Rome does not match the housing needs of the middle-income population, this research aims to outline the complex system created by the interplay of different factors at different levels. First, it aims to contribute to the debate on housing affordability by generating much needed knowledge from both the demand and the supply point of view on the housing conditions of the lower-middle class. Secondly, by investigating the role played by residential development and by illegal actors in the Roman urban regime, it wants to generate a theoretical reflection on the general role of residential development and illegal actors within urban regimes. Finally, by raising questions about whether and how a private interest-driven planning and political decision making might have impacted the ability of the lower middle class in Rome to find a suitable and affordable accommodation it adds to the debate on the role of housing in political economy.

The politics of housing for the lower-middle class. Demand, supply and public-private interaction in Rome / Gentili, Martina. - (2020 Jul 24).

The politics of housing for the lower-middle class. Demand, supply and public-private interaction in Rome

GENTILI, MARTINA
2020

Abstract

In Italy, from 2008 to present day, the global economic crisis has had a large impact on the housing market. Scholars agree that what is critical to this housing crisis is not a lack of supply, but rather the erosive effects of impoverishment, unemployment, a precarious job market, and indebtedness that challenge access to housing. Indeed, housing problems no longer affect only the weakest part of the population, but increasingly also other segments: the (lower) middle-class – impoverished by the crisis, burdened by austerity measures, and neglected by housing policies – as well as young couples, workers with little job security, elderly people, and migrants. In the public debate, these households are usually acknowledged as a ‘grey area’ of housing need: their income is not sufficiently low to qualify for social housing, and yet, they cannot completely fulfil their housing needs on the free market. They clearly represent a largely unmet demand. In such a context, it is important to highlight that the affordability crisis depends as much on the housing market dynamics and housing policy as it does on local planning and development decisions. Such decisions are inherently political and depend on ideological positions towards housing (for example the ideological stance regarding owner-occupation as the privileged tenure), but also on the interaction between politics and the private interests surrounding the land and construction sector. The case of Rome is particularly well-suited to investigate the interplay of housing system and local development and institutional factors. By inquiring why the housing supply in Rome does not match the housing needs of the middle-income population, this research aims to outline the complex system created by the interplay of different factors at different levels. First, it aims to contribute to the debate on housing affordability by generating much needed knowledge from both the demand and the supply point of view on the housing conditions of the lower-middle class. Secondly, by investigating the role played by residential development and by illegal actors in the Roman urban regime, it wants to generate a theoretical reflection on the general role of residential development and illegal actors within urban regimes. Finally, by raising questions about whether and how a private interest-driven planning and political decision making might have impacted the ability of the lower middle class in Rome to find a suitable and affordable accommodation it adds to the debate on the role of housing in political economy.
Housing affordability; Young adults; Intergenerational transfers; Italy; Rome; Urban governance; Urban regimes; Housing market; Politics of housing
The politics of housing for the lower-middle class. Demand, supply and public-private interaction in Rome / Gentili, Martina. - (2020 Jul 24).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/10162
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