The research centre on the Socio-Economics of Housing (GIS) and the European Network for Housing Research (ENHR), together with Université Paris 8 and Université Paris 12 (ERUDITE and CRETEIL research centres) will be holding an international conference on the future of social housing in Europe in November 2007.


           The conference is the outcome of a European workshop jointly organized by the GIS and the ENHR which included 20-odd researchers in various social sciences coming from 7 different countries. The workshop was launched in March 2006 and has been steered by  sociologist Claire Levy-Vroelant (Université Paris 8) and economist Christian Turin (Paris 12). It focuses on the evolution of the forms and aims of social housing in some north-west European countries over the past 30 years: Germany, Austria, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Sweden. That choice was based on the idea that countries where the supply of rented social housing accounts for a large number (between 15% and 35%) of the main residence sector or even for the majority of the rented housing sector - as in the UK - must share a certain number of characteristics regarding the way their housing market operates and their housing system is structured. A comparative study was supposed to highlight the influence of economic and social determinisms and that of public policies on the evolution of housing systems (either housing or urban renewal policies). 

Three main questions will be addressed during the two-day conference :

- The evolution of the aims of social housing and of their rationales

- The part played by social housing in the regulation of housing markets

- The place of social housing in urban renewal and the social division of space


           Each question will be examined in a specific session followed by a seminar including French housing professionals and decision-makers as well as one or two European researchers. The aim is to show the actors of social housing in France the general trends of social housing in Europe and the challenges it is facing. The intended audience includes researchers specialized in the field as well as professionals. The expected number is 150.


           The conference has a twofold aim :

- To give professionals and decision-makers a pan-European view of social housing which will enable them to understand the forces at play and the current evolutions in a very specific and highly tense socio-political context in France.

- To enable social scientists in the field to compare and contrast French research with the analyses made in other countries and to initiate a comparative study which should result in a common project in the second phase of the GIS/ENHR European workshop.


The conference will be held in French and in English. Simultaneous translation will be provided at all times.



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