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New Study: Post-neoliberal housing policy? Disentangling recent reforms in New York, Berlin and Vienna

Justin Kadi (IFIP, TU Wien), Lisa Vollmer (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar) and Sam Stein (City-University New York) analyze recent developments in the housing policy landscapes in New York, Berlin and Vienna. The study was published in the Journal "European Urban and Regional Studies".

In cities worldwide, the housing question has returned. As demands and proposals by housing movements have grown bolder, city governments are implementing new policies, ranging from small tweaks to major overhauls. This paper takes a close look at New York City, Berlin and Vienna, assessing their current housing policy landscapes. We evaluate to what extent those cities’ recent housing reforms depart from the dominant, neoliberal policy landscape of recent decades and can be categorized as ‘post-neoliberal’. We do so through the criteria of affordabilitydecommodification and democratization. The three selected cities display varying histories of housing systems and neoliberalization, enabling us to search for post-neoliberal policies in three distinct institutional contexts. We find a common pattern across cases: recent reforms have improved affordability and dampened hyper-commodification, but little has been done to address the democratization of housing and planning systems. By way of conclusion, we discuss some of the structural factors that impede attempts at developing a genuinely post-neoliberal transformation of local housing policies.

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