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Management of Privatised Social Housing: International Policies and Practice

Vincent Gruis (Editor), Sasha Tsenkova (Editor), N. Nieboer (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-8188-4
304 pages
May 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
Management of Privatised Social Housing: International Policies and Practice (1405181885) cover image


The sale of public and social housing has been a major aspect of housing policies in recent decades. Privatisation and a general retreat by governments from the housing arena have pushed up sales; this has been particularly evident within Eastern European countries and China but is also taking place in many Western European countries and Australia.


Wherever it occurs, such privatisation has lead to new challenges for housing management. Many estates are now a mix of public and private, raising questions about the division of responsibilities between different owners.   Legislation to address this is not adequate and public managers are still hampered by the bureaucratic mechanisms within their organisations, while the new owners are not used to their responsibilities for maintenance.   Added to this are the limited financial resources for renewal and maintenance among both public and private owners at a time when the need for investments is urgent, especially within the massive housing estates dating from the communist era.

Experts from Australia, France, the Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, China, the Czech Republic, Moldavia, Russia, Serbia and Slovenia present their county’s context and the policies and practice for managing privatised housing, together with case studies illustrating the issues described.


How privatised public housing is managed is of international concern, which will benefit from an international exchange of knowledge and best practice. The comparative analysis offered in Management of Privatised Housing: International Policies & Practice makes a significant contribution to the literature on this important topic.


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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION: Conceptual Framework.


England, The Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Australia.



Serbia, The Czech Republic, Slovenia, Russia, Moldova, China.



In order to facilitate cross-national analyses, all chapters are written according to the same general format. This format consists of four sections:.

Section 1: Description of national housing context in country X.

- a description of the national composition of the housing stock according to tenure, size, and dwelling type, supported by statistics;.

- a general description of the housing system: which organisations develop and manage the housing stock; what are government regulations for housing development and management concerning rent setting, allocations, sales, maintenance and renewal, and tenant involvement; how are the landlords supervised (by whom and on what basis); what financial support exists for housing management, renewal and development (exploitation grants, subsidies for renewals, government loans, government guarantees, housing grants)?.

- a general description of the situation on the housing market: shortages and surpluses according region, dwelling type, tenure and price.

- a reflection on the occurrence of housing problems, problematic neighbourhoods, vacancies, etc..

Section 2: Privatisation in country X.

- a reflection on the privatisation policies in the past decades;.

- description on the occurrence of privatisation, supported by statistics of the pace of privatisation (quantities);.

- a description of the conditions under which dwellings were sold: price and the division of management responsibilities between landlords and homeowner;.

- an analysis of the challenges for maintenance and renewal of the partly-privatised estates;.

- an analysis of the institutional, organisational, cultural, social and financial problems of management;.

- policies and (innovative) practices that have been or are being implemented to deal with these problems..

Section 3: Case study.

Describes one or more case studies of partly privatised estates. These cases may be selected on the basis of their representation of common problems and/or solutions in country X and/or on the basis of the innovative ‘best practice’ approach that has been undertaken to deal with the problems. The section about the case study will consist of:.

- a description the estate (quality, division according to tenure, price, position on the housing market);.

- a reflection on the privatisation process (pace, background, conditions);.

- a description of social, functional and technical problems that occur in the estate and the problems of management, maintenance and renewal;.

- a reflection on to what extent the above problems are caused or increased by the privatisation;.

- a reflection on the initiatives that have been and will be undertaken to cope with the problems and their (expected) success..

Section 4: Conclusion.

Contains a brief summary of the chapter plus an outlook for the future problems/challenges.

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Author Information


Vincent Gruis is assistant professor of housing at Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture, Department of Real Estate & Housing. He has a PhD in Housing and conducts research and is a consultant in the area of housing management and urban renewal. Dr. Gruis has published extensively in well-known international and national journals on housing and his teaching includes MSc courses on Urban Development, Housing Management, Housing Policy and Urban Management.

Sasha Tsenkova is professor of international development at the University of Calgary, Canada. She has a PhDs in Architecture and in Planning. Her research and consultancy experience in housing policy and urban development in more than 30 countries in North America, Western and Eastern Europe and South-east Asia. She is a consultant to the World Bank, the United Nations in New York and Geneva, the Canadian International Development Agency and the Council of Europe.


Frederic Bougrain - Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment, France

Limei Chen - City University of Hong Kong, China

Patrick Dogge - Trudo housing association, The Netherlands

Martin Lux - Institute of Sociology, Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic

Vivienne Milligan - Australian Housing & Urban Research Institute, University of Sydney, Australia

Alan Murie - University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Djordje Mojovic - UN Habitat, Serbia

David Ousby - Prospect Row LLP, United Kingdom

Maria Plotnikova - Centre for Public Policy for Regions, University of Strathclyde & University of Glasgow, United Kingdom

Bill Randolph - City Futures Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia

Richard Sendi - Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, Slovenia

Jos Smeets - University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Rob Soeterbroek - University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Joris E. van Wezemael - University of Zurich, Switzerland

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The Wiley Advantage

  • 1. offers an international exchange of knowledge
  • 2. improves understanding of management challenges in mixed ownership housing
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"It is very interesting to read about the background and consequences of public housing privatisation in all these countries . . . That said, the editors present a very useful reference book on housing privatisation and management across countries. Keeping in mind their caveat that the book is strictly explorative in nature, it can certainly be considered a good basis for some more fundamental work on the topic in the future." (Journal Housing & the Built Environment, 2011)

"This book is worth reading for scholars and researchers as well as for practitioners. The volume sheds considerable light on the consequences of privatisation of public housing." (International Journal of Housing Policy, September 2010)

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