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GeoJournal

, Volume 79, Issue 4, pp 421–432 | Cite as

Housing Policy Regime in Lithuania: towards liberalization and marketization

Article

Abstract

This paper reviews housing policy development in Lithuania in the light of previous literature which reinterprets Esping-Andersen’s work on welfare regimes and adopts it to study housing policy. It seeks to highlight the major features of the Lithuanian housing policy. The findings of this paper reveal that the Lithuanian housing regime exhibits many features which are common under the liberal one. Most significant of these are low de-commodification for those who have to buy or rent a home for the market price, increasing stratification based on income and the dominant position of the market in housing production, allocation and price determination. However, a detailed examination of the Lithuanian housing policy reveals that the housing policy system, despite having many features similar to the liberal one, has been operating in different social and economic settings as a result of unique historical experience of the communist housing policy (massive production of low quality apartment blocks during the communist era, which currently need substantial renovation) and consequently drastic changes in the housing field since 1990s (massive privatization of the housing stock and decentralization of the housing management system). The Lithuanian housing policy regime could be characterized as a regime with the higher owner-occupation compared to other welfare state regimes, but the lower economic power of the owners to take care of their property maintenance, repair and renovation.

Keywords

Housing policy Welfare state Lithuania Post-communist regime Central and Eastern Europe 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Research for this article was supported by Grant (421-2010-1706) from the Swedish Research Council. The author would like to thank the anonymous referees for useful comments.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lithuanian Social Research CentreVilniusLithuania

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