On 17th November 2021, József Hegedüs from Metropolitan Research Institute presented at the Europe Housing Forum, organised by Habitat for Humanity. He discussed housing inequalities in Europe and the root causes of this inequality.

Józsefs work, based on the model outlined within the work package two aspect of the UPLIFT project, emphasised that the most important determinants of housing outcomes and thus of affordability, are very much linked to the economic potential of the urban environment and the national/local welfare system.

As a starting point, we distinguish between growing and developing regions with strong economies and lagging, stagnating, shrinking regions with weak economies. The variation in the level of public interventions is also emphasised.  Public funding varies and can be different from the marginal level of public welfare interventions (in housing and in other domains influencing inequality) to the combination of substantial public welfare interventions.

The combination of economic potentials and welfare systems leads to a simplified urban typology, seen in some of the 16 urban areas of UPLIFT.

The 16 urban case study areas analysed within the framework of the typology provide insights into the causal relationships between social and economic factors that lead to different levels and types of urban and housing inequalities (e.g. affordability) through the interplay of market forces and welfare systems.

For example, housing affordability is the main problem in developed areas, which can be mitigated by the welfare system (especially by the social housing sector and targeted housing subsidies), while in underdeveloped areas, falling house prices and underinvestment are the main housing problems, which can also be modified by welfare interventions.