Romanian Suburban Housing : Home Improvement through Owner-building
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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. I argue 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.
Soaita , A M 2013 , ' Romanian Suburban Housing : Home Improvement through Owner-building ' , Urban Studies , vol. 50 , no. 10 , pp. 2084-2101 . https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098012471980
© Urban Studies Journal Limited 2013. The final, definitive version of this paper was first published in Urban Studies, Vol 50, Issue 10, pp 2084-2101 by Sage Publications Ltd. All rights reserved. The published version of record is available at: http://usj.sagepub.com/content/50/10/2084