How is family housing property reshaping welfare

 HOUWEL visual dataset, Milan 2014
WEDNESDAY 17th SEPTEMBER 2014, 15.00 - 18.30
Aula Gamma, Scuola di Architettura e Società, Politecnico di Milano
Via Ampere, 2 20133 Milano, MM2 Piola, Tram 23, 33
How is family housing property
reshaping welfare regimes?
A presentation and discussion on the first results of a European
research project on housing markets and welfare state transformations
Co-organised by Massimo Bricocoli, Stefania Sabatinelli and Lidia Manzo
Introduction: Massimo Bricocoli and Stefania Sabatinelli, DAStU, Politecnico di Milano
15.15 -15.45
First results from the European research “HOUWEL, Housing Markets and Welfare State
Transformations. How Family Housing Property Is Reshaping Welfare Regimes”, Richard
Ronald with Christian Lennartz and Rowan Arundel, Centre for Urban Studies, University of
15.45 – 16.30
“Everything but the Home.” Meanings of Housing and Family Welfare Strategies in Italy
(in time of crisis)”, Oana Druta, Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam with
Lidia Manzo, HOUWEL Partner and Investigator | DAStU Polimi
16.30 – 18.30
Discussion with: Giuliana Costa, Simona Pierini, Costanzo Ranci, Antonio Tosi, Federico
Zanfi, DAStU, Politecnico di Milano; Enzo Mingione, Serena Vicari, Università di Milano
Bicocca; Rossana Torri, Università IUAV Venezia, Gianluca Nardone (KCity), Manuela
Olagnero, Università di Torino.
Home ownership normally constitutes a primary family node for the delivery and
exchange of shelter, informal care and asset wealth, potentially reducing
household dependency on the state. Different modes of housing thereby
influence welfare system development overall. In recent decades, governments
have encouraged home purchase as a means for households to accumulate
housing assets, thereby insuring themselves against hardship. Meanwhile,
increasing market values have enhanced perceptions of housing property as a
form of social security or a supplement to a pension in later life. Welfare regimes
have thus been undergoing realignment with growing emphasis on the extension
of markets and individual responsibility in satisfying needs. The latest financial
crisis has starkly illustrated how socioeconomically embedded housing markets
have become. Understanding of the role of housing tenure in welfare regimes or
the impact of housing markets on welfare systems is, however, poorly
In February 2012 a new five-year research project was launched in the Centre
for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam, funded through the European
Research Council’s Starter’s Grant Scheme. Abbreviated to the moniker
HOUWEL, this study is concerned with housing markets and welfare state
transformations, and looks to how family housing property practices have
interacted with different welfare regimes in a number of countries (England,
Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and Romania).
The HOUWEL research project ( investigates how the
growing reliance on housing markets and family property wealth in meeting
welfare and security needs is transforming contemporary welfare states. The
study is currently examining how housing markets and welfare systems interact
in six different welfare regime contexts with the objective of advancing
understandings of the ways housing markets and home ownership assume more
or less prominent roles in welfare system pathways. It aims to demonstrate how
central household housing market positions have become in shaping welfare
outcomes and in restructuring new patterns of inequality and family and state
The purpose of the seminar is twofold: presenting an overview of the first results
of this comparative project, and discussing them especially from the particular
point of view of the Italian housing and welfare model.