Rethinking needs and financing for affordable rental and cooperative housing in Central and South-Eastern Europe

Zsuzsanna Pósfai, Csaba Jelinek, Mara Ferreri and Camila Cociña

Published in Issue 6.1 // Conversations

Keywords: Affordable housing, cooperativism, housing finance, Central and South-Eastern Europe


This conversation starts with the introduction of a large-scale research project conducted in 2022 in eight Central and South-Eastern European countries on how catalytic capital investment can enable the provision of affordable rental and cooperative housing in the region. The results of the project prove that while there is a large potential target group of such alternative housing models in these countries, the currently available housing finance tools are inadequate to help the emergence of the sector. In the second part of the conversation we introduce how MOBA Housing SCE intends to solve this problem through creating a bottom-up quasi revolving fund, which can financially help local projects in their early phase. Finally, we explain how MOBA approaches internationalism, co-housing principles, the need for shifting housing paradigms, and state socialist heritages of cooperativism.

Zsuzsanna Pósfai is one of the initiators of Periféria Center and of MOBA. Before, she was long engaged in housing activism in Budapest, worked in urban policy making, and in academia. An important part of her current work is connected to housing finance: both currently existing and potential new forms.

Csaba Jelinek is an urban sociologist based in Budapest, a co-founder of Periféria Policy and Research Center. His academic work has been focusing on urban regenerations and housing policy. Currently he is working on the historical sociology of housing cooperatives in Hungary.

Mara and Camila are RHJ editors.

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