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The Transformation of Social Housing Provision in Switzerland Mediated by Federalism, Direct Democracy and the Urban/rural Divide


  • Julie Lawson


The transformation of Swiss social housing policy provides a rich case study for researchers interested the role of unique state structures and dynamic welfare regimes and their influence on social policy. Housing policy is rarely theorised from this perspective and this paper provides both empirical description and abstract explanation towards this goal. Swiss non-profit housing has been part of the urban landscape for more than a century and strategies promoting this tenure have mediated very different movements in public policy from municipal socialism, the co-operative movement, to privatisation and monetarism. Alongside a housing system orientated towards private landlordism, there are more than 1,500 non-profit housing providers. This paper examines transformations in their modes of provision over the 20th century, with a focus on financing arrangements.

Suggested Citation

  • Julie Lawson, 2009. "The Transformation of Social Housing Provision in Switzerland Mediated by Federalism, Direct Democracy and the Urban/rural Divide," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 45-67.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:9:y:2009:i:1:p:45-67
    DOI: 10.1080/14616710802693599

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    Cited by:

    1. Theresa Katharina Kotulla, 2017. "Request and Potential for Social Housing Projects in Germany, by the example of the Federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia," ERES eres2017_56, European Real Estate Society (ERES).


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