Workshop Prague, CZ - Affordable social housing
The provision of affordable housing may be considered one of the most essential preconditions for inclusive and sustainable urban development. In the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, deregulation policies of the transition years after 1989 led to a far-reaching privatisation of the public housing stock. Up to 90% of formerly public flats were sold to the tenants, while public investment in affordable not-for-profit housing was dramatically reduced. As a result, cities today are lacking in instruments for a balanced development of the housing market (thus leading to social segregation), while a considerable share of the new society of homeowners is unable to afford the necessary refurbishment of often prefabricated houses from the Communist era.
In comparison, the housing systems of other European cities, in particular the Vienna housing model, rest on a balanced mix of housing ownership and rental, strong tenants rights, and – above all – a tradition of publicly subsidised housing production and refurbishment (be it by the municipality itself or by limited-profit housing associations).
The Workshop “Making affordable housing work – Policies, instruments and experiences”, was organised by the CapaCity programme in close cooperation with europaforum wien, the City of Prague, specifically the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR), and the Czech Technical University of Prague - Faculty of Architecture with the support and coordination of praguewatch.cz. The aim of the seminar was to give an insight into good practices of affordable housing policies in European cities, while addressing specific issues like cooperative and bottomup housing models, to provide details about the public housing system of Vienna, to explain its policy background, its instruments and main structures, and to discuss with the workshop participants to what extent the model may be adaptable to their specific context.