The Legacy of Socialist Housing Systems

Part of the Contributions to Economics book series (CE)

Evaluation of the recent performance of housing systems in the countries of South East Europe, their housing policies during the transition and institutional changes requires an in-depth understanding of the socialist housing system, its principles and main characteristics. The first and important point to emphasise is the immense diversity of housing supply and quality between countries and among cities within the same country. There were considerable variations in different housing delivery systems resulting in diverse tenure patterns and structures of housing provision under state socialism. The diversity also reflected the cumulative legacy of housing inherited from the past and changes in political priorities and social attitudes. Considerable variations within the ‘socialist housing model’ existed in the region and were clearly demonstrated in the widening differences between former Yugoslavia and Albania. While the analysis in this chapter will identify dominant characteristics and similarities in the performance of socialist housing systems in the region, it will also highlight some important differences affecting the path of transformation in the context of transition to markets and democracy. The chapter starts with a brief overview of the socialist model of development and its imprint over the existing socialist housing systems. This powerful legacy, driven by the evolution in housing policy since the 1950s and the performance of state and private sector agents and institutions, is manifested in a wide range of housing outcomes associated with housing distribution, quality, tenure forms and housing costs. The chapter presents these outcomes in a comparative perspective and identifies the direction of change and transformation across the region.


Socialist Housing Housing Policy Housing Stock Housing Cost Housing System 
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© Physica-Verlag Heidelberg 2009

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