Romanian suburban housing: home improvement through owner-building

Soaita, A. M. (2013) Romanian suburban housing: home improvement through owner-building. Urban Studies, 50(10), pp. 2084-2101. (doi: 10.1177/0042098012471980)

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The new suburban housing developments in post-socialist cities have been ubiquitous icons of socioeconomic and physical change. This paper examines suburban owner-built housing as a long-term strategy of home improvement in Romania. It analyses residents’ motivations and financial strategies to move up the housing ladder through owner-building and their responses to key neighbourhood problems, in particular poor public infrastructure and non-existent public facilities. It is argued that owner-builders generally benefitted from the economic informality, the relaxed legal culture and the unregulated housing context of the Romanian post-socialist transition; but the absence of public actors has weakened their achievements, which is most apparent at neighbourhood level. The paper draws attention to a context of politico-economic reforms and a set of socio-cultural values of housing privatism in which resident responses may frequently generate consequential (collective) problems localised at the level of streets, neighbourhoods or even the whole society.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Soaita, Dr Adriana Mihaela
Authors: Soaita, A. M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Urban Studies
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1360-063X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 Urban Studies Journal Limited
First Published:First published in Urban Studies 50(10): 2084-2101
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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