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The housing paradox: more financing, less affordability?

Mar 15, 2019 | Opinions

(15 March 2019) – Iván Tosics, managing director of the Metropolitan Research Institute, treats the issue of the “housing paradox”: how more financing seemingly curbs the affordability of housing across the globe – and no longer only in the so-called “hedge-cities”.

© Granby Four Streets Community Land Trust

Housing is one of the sectors where the fight between the competition and solidarity aspects is the sharpest.

The negative consequences of the financialization of housing can be felt first and foremost on the local level, in the urban housing markets. Thus it is a crucial question, what local municipalities are doing? Or, in a broader sense, to what extent can the growing problem of affordable housing be handled on the local level?

In this regard the differences between European cities are even larger than between the countries – depending on political colours, cities within the same country might have totally different answers on the same challenges.

There seems to be a long way to go to achieve socially justified limitations on international capital investors, i.e. regulating the financialization of housing – without limiting private actors in their will to invest along non-speculative principles into social/affordable housing.

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