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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2012): Social housing - overseas

The role of the public sector in the provision of housing supply in Turkey, 1950-2009

D. Özdemir

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol.35, 2011, p. 1099-1117

In the 50 years from 1950 to 2000, central and local governments in Turkey failed to become direct providers of social housing. Social housing remained scarce, ownership of second homes for rental increased, family ties helped people secure housing access, and self-build mechanisms became common among migrants. The role of the public sector was that of a regulator rather than a direct provider, while uncontrolled housing markets produced an excess of illegal and unhealthy housing in cities. At the beginning of the 21st century, the government adopted a housing policy that focused on direct provision, particularly of new housing units constructed at the periphery of major cities. In effect, the party in power sought to maximise its electoral appeal by showcasing the provision of housing through central government initiatives. At the same time, under the pretext of regenerating squatter areas, existing residents were moved out, while channels for community participation were bypassed.

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