Malmö University Publications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
For the Benefit of Everyone?: Explaining the Significance of Swedish Public Housing for Urban Housing Inequality
Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Urban Studies (US).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5896-2016
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Housing has a special place in the Swedish welfare state. Ever since Gustav Möller, Minister for Social Affairs, in 1945 was handed the result of Bostadssociala utredningen, a state investigation on housing from a social perspective, housing has been a bearing pillar in the Swedish ‘Folkhem’. Since the post-war period, Swedish housing policy has been universal in the sense that housing consumers have not been categorized by income or living conditions. Instead, the policy has had the aim of ‘good housing for all’. The main instrument for achieving this goal—the figurehead of the universal housing policy—has been allmännyttan, the national model of public housing, constituted by municipal housing companies with the task of offering rental housing of high quality, for the benefit of everyone. This PhD thesis analyzes allmännyttan based on the observation that the contemporary housing situation is largely characterized by inequality. The housing consumer is to a lesser extent independent from inherited conditions: Access to housing and the characteristics of housing are increasingly dependent on economic resources. The dissertation highlights the role of public housing in this development. The municipal housing companies and the context they exist in have changed over the past decades through gradual political reforms and alignment with European competition law. Such a development might influence the ability of allmännyttan to contribute to keeping housing inequality at bay. The purpose of the thesis is thus to study the potential and actual significance of allmännyttan for housing inequality in Swedish cities. The thesis is grounded in critical realist ontology and analyzes how and why (or why not) allmännyttan’s latent mechanisms to counteract inequality are actualized. Through studies of municipal housing companies throughout Sweden, including eleven in-depth case studies, the thesis seeks to answer whether the contemporary allmännytta counteracts housing inequality, or if it rather contributes to a more unequal housing provision. The dissertation consists of three peer-reviewed papers. Together with the framing chapter of the dissertation, the papers highlight how housing inequality could be understood from a national context and in terms of multidimensionality; how events triggered by allmännyttan counteracts or contributes to housing inequality; and how allmännyttan’s discretion to counteract housing inequality is identified and used by the municipal housing companies. The results indicate that, despite a gradual shift towards businesslike conditions and demands on return on investment, allmännyttan still has a latent and potential ability to counteract housing inequality. The core of universalism consists, so do the expectations of social benefit. However, the contextual conditions have changed: The state-organized housing provision has gone from state-financed to financialized, i.e., dependent on financial motives, institutions, tools and financial capital. Allmännyttan exists in a state of financialized universalism. In spite of this development, the thesis identifies ample discretion for municipal housing companies to actualize underlying mechanisms which contribute to counteracting housing inequality. However, how this discretion is perceived and used varies from city to city. The discretion is interpreted—consciously or unconsciously— in different ways, depending on the local political governance, but also on the local institutional path-dependence, i.e., its past decisions, its culture and traditions. How the discretion is identified has implications on the events that affect housing inequality. The conclusion is that public housing is more than ever locally diversified. An imaginary of financialized economy has been adopted by many municipal housing companies, but this imaginary is challenged and negotiated by other companies. Given this variation, allmännyttan simultaneously—and contradictory—contributes to both reduced and increased housing inequality. The character of the ambiguous allmännytta is thus determined at local scale, a conclusion which stands in contrast with national objectives of a state-organized housing provision based on good housing, for the benefit of everyone.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Malmö University , 2018. , p. 183
Series
Dissertation Series in Migration, Urbanisation, and Societal Change ; 5
Keywords [en]
Housing, Inequality, Social Housing, Universalism, Discretion, Structures of Housing Provision, Public Housing, Housing Regimes
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-7437DOI: 10.24834/978-91-7104-934-6Local ID: 25068ISBN: 978-91-7104-933-9 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7104-934-6 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-7437DiVA, id: diva2:1404361
Public defence
2018-10-26, Hörsal C, Niagara, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1, Malmö, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Available from: 2020-02-28 Created: 2020-02-28 Last updated: 2022-04-26Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The inbetweeners of the housing markets: Young adults facing housing inequality in Malmö, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The inbetweeners of the housing markets: Young adults facing housing inequality in Malmö, Sweden
2023 (English)In: Housing Studies, ISSN 0267-3037, E-ISSN 1466-1810, Vol. 38, no 3, p. 505-522Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Throughout Europe, reports of problematic housing situations for young adults have increasingly emerged during the last decades. This paper explores housing experiences among young adults living in a disadvantaged area of Malmö, Sweden, taking the concept of housing inequality as its point of departure. The results suggest how young adults become stuck in between a number of parallel housing markets, leaving them no choice other than the illegal rental market – characterized by steep rents, insecure conditions and precarious quality. The paper advances a multidimensional understanding of housing inequality, as the limited access and poor quality of housing that young adults experience reproduces inequality in a broader sense: It influences potential wealth accumulation, the possibility to lead independent lives, the access to work and education, and thereby, the young adults’ health and well-being.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2023
Keywords
Young adults, housing inequality, housing market, generation rent
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Urban studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-41006 (URN)10.1080/02673037.2021.1893278 (DOI)000625718800001 ()2-s2.0-85150156923 (Scopus ID)
Funder
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme
Available from: 2021-03-05 Created: 2021-03-05 Last updated: 2023-07-04Bibliographically approved
2. New public housing: a selective model disguised as universal? Implications of the market adaptation of Swedish public housing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>New public housing: a selective model disguised as universal? Implications of the market adaptation of Swedish public housing
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Housing policy, ISSN 1949-1247, Vol. 17, no 3, p. 335-352Article in journal (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Building upon the universal characteristics of the social democratic welfare regime, public housing in Sweden has traditionally been a central instrument in contributing to socially inclusive cities; however, changes in policy have gradually changed the landscape. This paper presents concerns for public housing’s endeavour for social inclusion and suggests that the universal approach, of which Swedish public housing is a standing role model, is diminishing in favour of an ambiguous model of universal discourse and selective output. A ‘New Public Housing’ is emerging with higher thresholds, making it harder for economically disadvantaged groups to gain access to housing; at the same time, this is compensated by the increase of ‘social contracts’, which provides the financially vulnerable with an entrance to the housing market, however on very uncertain conditions. Increasingly catering for the most well off and the most vulnerable in society, this New Public Housing appears to exist in a contradictory state between its claims of universalism and the practice of excluding certain groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2017
Keywords
public housing, social housing, universalism, selectivity, inclusion
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-1983 (URN)10.1080/19491247.2016.1265266 (DOI)000419712300001 ()2-s2.0-85022020349 (Scopus ID)22245 (Local ID)22245 (Archive number)22245 (OAI)
Available from: 2020-02-27 Created: 2020-02-27 Last updated: 2024-02-06Bibliographically approved
3. Off the Beaten Track? Selectivity, Discretion and Path-Shaping in Swedish Public Housing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Off the Beaten Track? Selectivity, Discretion and Path-Shaping in Swedish Public Housing
2019 (English)In: Housing, Theory and Society, ISSN 1403-6096, E-ISSN 1651-2278, Vol. 36, no 4, p. 385-400Article in journal (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

By its universal approach, Swedish public housing has traditionally been an instrument to contribute to the national policy aim of “good housing for all”. However, the universal approach is under pressure. Demands on competitiveness and a businesslike return on investment means public housing companies are increasingly striving for profit in their everyday business. This paper analyses this development with the strategic-relational approach (SRA) and argues that a new economic imaginary has emerged, which limits the companies’ perceived possibilities to retain the universal approach. However, spatio-temporal variations are evident and the findings give evidence to ample actorial discretion for companies to negotiate the economic imaginary in the current political-economic landscape. Thus, the potential to retain the undertaking of “good housing for all” still exists, but it is unevenly actualized. How this discretion is used may be decisive for the future of the universal character of public housing in Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2019
Keywords
Public housing, Strategic-relational approach, Universal approach, Path-dependency
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-1961 (URN)10.1080/14036096.2018.1513065 (DOI)000492260100001 ()2-s2.0-85053319672 (Scopus ID)26228 (Local ID)26228 (Archive number)26228 (OAI)
Available from: 2020-02-27 Created: 2020-02-27 Last updated: 2024-02-06Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(4387 kB)1476 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 4387 kBChecksum SHA-512
45e4a08f163f062750c1ca3a6c0f700a1852d70054563ddf6d97923e93e220cdd70775baa94b961b12cb89a2403152d1c963af637a9595e6a1d84c164527bf39
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full text

Authority records

Grander, Martin

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Grander, Martin
By organisation
Department of Urban Studies (US)
Social Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 1478 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

doi
isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 5115 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf