By Laura Giesen, Laima Politajs, Claudia Schredl, Riccarda Sutter

Dieses Video entstand im Rahmen eines Forschungsprojekts im Masterstudiengang Socio-Ecological Economics and Policy (SEEP) an der WU. Hierbei wurden Expertinnen und Experten in den Bereichen sozialer Wohnungsbau und Europarecht interviewt.

Social housing policies differ quite strongly across member states in the European Union. Depending on the type of welfare state system there are many different approaches to the provision of social and public housing. Vienna with its long history of social housing is quite outstanding. The target group of Viennese social housing policies is very broad and favors the objective of social mixing. The city gained attention defending this long-standing history when in 2013 the mayor started an initiative for affordable housing in Europe. It was a reaction to Commission decisions on other countries’ policies that seemed to threaten those social housing policies which target a large share of the population. In Vienna three main instruments are used in social housing policies: housing allowances, municipal housing, and supported housing. These instruments are designed to provide affordable housing for everyone and promote social mixing. The central question of this paper is whether the objective of social mixing in Viennese social housing policies is threatened by EU integration. This is analyzed through an interdisciplinary approach that combines a legal review and expert interviews. Three processes of EU integration have been identified to be of interest in regard to the research question: positive integration, negative integration and policy convergence within a neoliberal paradigm. Although their impacts on national, as well as sub-national social policies cannot be neglected, the paper at hand shows that, at the moment, neither European integration nor policy convergence pose a direct threat to the objective of social mixing in Viennese social housing policies.
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