Ideas for the reform of housing ownership in the early 1990s

I start with policy ideas. I compare the ideas that circulated among the member of the policy network, that is Gosstroy and its advisors, with the ideas shared by policy outsiders during the early 1990s. I also point to the difference in the views of Gosstroy officials before and after their cooperation with international advisors. The summary of these policy views, classified as paradigms, instruments and settings, is offered in Table 4.2.

It is important to note that policy discussion in the 1990s focused around specific instruments and settings of housing policy such as mass housing privatisation. Nevertheless, from these debates, we can infer the broad implicit understandings about the aims and means of Russian housing policy, that is policy paradigms, held by different specialist groups among the Russian housing policy sub-system. In the early 1990s, both the mixed housing paradigm and the owner-occupation paradigm were supported by the members of the housing policy subsystem and there was no agreement about which of the paradigms should be applied. It can be argued then that the issue area of housing ownership represents a dimension of housing policy with a complex paradigmatic choice.

Table 4.2 Policy ideas for the reform of Russian housing ownership structure (paradigms, instruments and settings)

Groups of Actors




Gosstroy and its experts before 1992

Vaguely defined mixed ownership paradigm, that included both private and rental forms of tenure

  • - Housing privatisation
  • - Development of housing rent
  • - commercial rent for better off
  • - social housing for low-income
  • - Associations of home owners: vaguely defined collective ownership structure of multi-apartment blocks
  • - Complex scheme for housing privatisation
  • - Privatisation for a fee
  • - Formation of commercial rent and social rent

Gosstroy and IUE after 1992

Owner- occupation, i.e. the

predominance of private housing ownership by families who reside in housing units

  • - private ownership for the majority of households
  • - small social housing sector for low-income households
  • - housing condominiums/ associations
  • - free, unconditional and rapid privatisation
  • - settings for the organisation of housing condominiums



Mixed housing paradigm

  • - privatisation of a part of housing
  • - commercial rent
  • - social rent
  • - non-profit housing
  • - cooperatives
  • - conditional privatisation
  • - organisation of rental forms of housing
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