New report: Housing policies and housing conditions in five growing European metropolises

How do different European cities intervene in the housing market and what are the consequences for housing conditions? How do five growing European cities (London, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna) differ in this regard? I have published a new report on this issue together with my colleagues Harald Baron, Ngoc Doan and Leonhard Plank. It grew out of a project we did for the Chamber of Labour Vienna. An English abstract of the report is below, the report (in German) can be found here:

Housing policies and housing conditions: Report from five growing European metropolises

Housing cost burdens have increased significantly in recent years across Europe, particularly in growing cities and regions. For households with low- and middle-income households it is becoming more and more difficult to find an affordable home, especially in inner city areas. As a result, they have to pay an increasing share of their income on housing, look for housing in more peripheral locations, accept lower housing quality, or move to smaller units.

These developments have shifted housing policy (once again) to the centre of public debate in many places. Housing policy plays a key role in shaping housing markets. Indeed, housing markets are more heavily influenced by government intervention than most other markets. This makes an analysis of housing policy developments central for an understanding of housing supply problems.

The concrete form of government intervention in the housing market differs significantly between countries. This relates to the instruments utilized to influence the housing market (e.g. provision of social housing through the state, regulation of rents, promotion of home ownership), how state intervention is designed (e.g. supply, demand or indirect subsidies), or what type of tenure is promoted. At the city level, the differences in housing policy are usually even more pronounced than at the national level, since interventions at different levels (national, regional, local) come together.

The aim of the present study is to analyze housing policy frameworks and housing conditions in five growing European cities (Berlin, Hamburg, London, Paris, Vienna). The focus is on the ways in which the state intervenes into the housing market and how housing conditions differ between the cities. The report also provides a theoretical discussion of the justification for state intervention in the housing market.