2 Ongoing Projects
Land policies in Europe
For many years now, access to building land has been a topic of discussion in most European countries. In these discussions competing interests and affordability are often core themes. Various solutions, for example the effectiveness of individual land policy instruments or the acceleration of planning procedures, are evaluated. However, the provision of building land is not only an administrative question, but above all a political one. In many European countries there is a lively discussion and on-going innovation related to land policy. The ARL working group Land Policies in Europe focuses on building land as a scarce good. Experts on land policy from twelve countries regularly come together to learn from each other and fundamentally reflect on land policy approaches, often in a dialogue with policy makers. Core issues to discuss are how instruments of land policy are used and can be used strategically to govern the scarce resource of land effectively, efficiently, just, and in a legitimized way to address the planning challenges of our time. Currently, a book on the role of land policy in affordable housing provision is being prepared with examples from all the involved countries. Participants in the project come from Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and Poland. More information can be found on the ARL website:Land Policies in Europe | ARL-Net
On increasingly strained housing markets, affordable housing development has become a key concern in housing policy in the Nordic countries. Public policy explicitly states that new housing should be provided in many price and rent segments with the aim of reaching wider shares of the population, as well as contributing to socially mixed neighborhoods. In the project Strategic Housing, we wish to generate new knowledge on measuring housing market inclusiveness and use this to understand local housing market dynamics and to stimulate cities to develop a more active and comprehensive housing policy. The larger part of the project focus on Norwegian cities and towns, but Nordregio’s share in the project is an outlook on neighboring countries and how they plan for a more inclusive housing supply. One subproject investigates cities’ involvement with the housing needs of mid-income groups. Mid-income households are often depicted as the real losers when it comes to finding new housing as they can neither afford housing on market terms nor are entitled to public support. Here, we take a look at if, how and why the cities of Copenhagen, Hamburg, Oslo and Stockholm plan to expand housing supply attainable to mid-income groups. In a second subproject, municipal requirements to include affordable housing in otherwise market-rate housing developments are investigated. The very different forms such requirements take in Denmark, Norway and Sweden are described and analyzed in relation to housing and planning systems. In the third sub-project, we analyse two shared ownership and two cooperative rental models from legal and economic perspectives to see to what extent, and subject to what risks, these intermediary tenures add to housing opportunities of lower and mid-income groups.
This research project asks the question ‘What would be needed for collaborative housing to gain momentum and reach wider layers of the population?’ To answer the question a research overview of legal, economic, and social conditions of importance for developing collaborative housing is made to pinpoint obstacles and potential solutions. Collaborative housing is an umbrella term for a wide variety of housing models based on collectivity and self-organization, such as co-housing, housing co-operatives, self-build initiatives, and some community land trusts. In recent years, these types of initiatives have once again been highlighted as an opportunity to create sustainable housing and residential areas, as well as reduce housing costs. Due to the complexity and legal uncertainty that arises in connection with the start-up of collaborative housing communities, however, today the form is primarily an alternative for the middle class, that is people who generally already have access to the housing market. As a result of this, collaborative housing is often not considered a potential partial solution to housing market problems. The research overview will include a systematic mapping and analysis of the existing international literature on collaborative housing. The study will focus on three themes: 1) potential initiators, 2) key partners, and 3) legal institutional settings and thus relate to the current problems in developing this form of housing. The project is a cooperation between Nordregio and Stockholm University. Research results are continuously made public at FBS Forum för Bostadsforskning Stockholm (FBS Forum for Housing Research Stockholm).