Overcrowding and ‘under-occupancy’ in Romania: a case study of housing inequality

Adriana Mihaela Soaita

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    21 Citations (Scopus)
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    This paper examines aspects of space consumption in two very different housing types, the communist mid-rise estates and post-communist suburban self-built housing. Examining residents’ perceptions in order to categorize space as overcrowded or under-occupied, the paper engages critically with the issue of the inefficient distribution of Romanian housing, that is a considerable mismatch between dwelling and household size. The analysis documents the continued salience of overcrowding in the communist estates and conversely, self-builders’ satisfaction with the generous size of their new homes. Market forces permit various modes of residential mobility but their likely outcome is growing housing inequality while any redistributive impact will remain insignificant unless policy incentives could facilitate conversion of under-occupied space into (social) renting housing. However, only a sustained delivery of larger and affordable new dwellings could alleviate overcrowding.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)203-221
    Number of pages32
    JournalEnvironment and Planning A
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


    • Overcrowding
    • Romania
    • Eastern Europe
    • Space consumption
    • Housing inequality


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