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A New Gårdsten: A Case Study of a Swedish Municipal Housing Company


  • Ulf Borelius
  • Ulla-Britt Wennerstrom


The purpose of this article is to make a preliminary analysis of the Municipal Housing Company (MHC) Gårdstensbostader's struggle to transform a disadvantaged district of Gårdsten in the city of Goteborg, Sweden. We analyse data gathered from interviews and documents. The analytical frame is mainly inspired by Pierre Bourdieu's concepts of field, capital and symbolic violence. The situation of Gårdstensbostader is special. On the one hand, the company has a commission to develop the district of Gårdsten. On the other hand, it only administers and lets dwellings in this single district. The fate of the company is, therefore, intimately related to the development of Gårdsten. The company does much to promote the local community. It refuses, however, to provide new housing for people on welfare. The direction taken by Gårdstensbostader implies a deflection of an important aspect of its responsibility for vulnerable groups on the housing market. This development can only be understood in relation to the city's interest of improving its position in the field of transnational city regions and the MHC's interest of conserving its dominant position in the field of housing companies. It is too early to say with any certainty whether this is the path other MHCs will embark upon.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulf Borelius & Ulla-Britt Wennerstrom, 2009. "A New Gårdsten: A Case Study of a Swedish Municipal Housing Company," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 223-239.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:9:y:2009:i:2:p:223-239
    DOI: 10.1080/14616710902920330

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