Transformation of Housing Policy in a Post Socialist City: The Example of Belgrade
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The paper explores the transformation of housing regulations and policies related to the changes in Serbia's historical and post-socialist context and its effects on the urban development of the Belgrade Metropolitan Area (BMA). The socialist concept of the welfare state was transformed in a very short time into a neoliberal economic concept, with deregulation of the housing legislation, especially by mass privatization of social (public) housing stocks. In the post-socialist era, four main types of housing policies have been identified: 1) fast and total privatisation of state-owned dwellings; 2) vast illegal housing construction; 3) dynamic growth of commercial housing, and 4) slow and limited growth of a new social housing policy. The changes to the housing laws during the transitional period include major negative implications of housing policies on the urban development policy of the BMA, and are as follows: 1) the privatisation of 266,500 state-owned dwellings for a pittance, res...ulting in only 1.5% of public-owned dwellings in Serbia (2.18% in the BMA); 2) vast illegal housing (1.4 million of totally 4.6 million buildings in Serbia; 0.2 million only in the BMA); 3) inefficient new social housing policy with a symbolic number of new residential units, and 4) extremely inefficient urban land use as a consequence of ineffective residential, urban and other policies (in the BMA, urban land consumption increased to 670 m2/p.c. in 2012, showing extremely inefficient urban land-use compared to the European level). These findings demonstrate a highly unsuitable post-socialist mode of housing policy transformation (by changing the previous laws according to a strong neoliberal course) and also show the patterns of short-term policies (i.e. privatisation) with marginal financial effects, very limited success of new social housing, and socially unsustainable illegal housing and urban policies.
Keywords:post-socialist transformation / housing laws / housing policy / housing privatisation / illegal construction / Belgrade metropolitan area
Source:Regulating the City: Contemporary Urban Housing Law. Volumen 1, 2016, 41-64
- Den Haag : Eleven International Publishing - Boom Uitgevers Den Haag
- The role and implementation of the national spatial plan and regional development documents in renewal of strategic research, thinking and governance in Serbia (RS-47014)
- Transitioning towards Urban Resilience and Sustainability (EU-282834)
- Support to Process of Urban Development in Serbia (SPUDS) (SCOPES programme, no. 160503)
- Rad je deo i bilateralnog naučnog projekta "Support to Process of Urban Development in Serbia" (SPUDS), no. 160503 http://p3.snf.ch/Project-160503, 2015-2018, u okviru SCOPES programa uz finansijsku podršku Swiss National Science Foundation.