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WPS No.34 | Hochstenbach, C. & Ronald, R. (2018) | The revival of the private rental sector under Amsterdam’s regulated marketization regime

This working paper by Cody Hochstenbach and Richard Ronald explores how and why the state-orchestrated revival of the private rental sector in Amsterdam has come about, highlighting how new growth in free market private renting is related to the restructuring of the urban housing market around owner-occupation since the 1990s. More critically, the analysis asserts that the restructuring of Amsterdam’s housing stock can be conceptualized as regulated marketization.

Abstract

Over the last decade or so, private rental sectors have been in ascendance across developed societies, especially in economically- liberal, English speaking contexts. The Netherlands too, and Amsterdam in particular, have also more recently experienced a century long decline in private renting reversed. More unusually, the expansion of private renting in Amsterdam has been explicitly promoted by the municipal government, and in cooperation of social housing providers, in response to decreasing accessibility to, and affordability of, social rental and owner occupied housing. This paper explores how and why this state- orchestrated revival has come about, highlighting how new growth in free market private renting is related to the restructuring of the urban housing market around owner-occupation since the 1990s. More critically, our analysis asserts that restructuring ofAmsterdam’s housing stock can be conceptualized as regulated marketization. Market forces are not being simply unleashed, but given more leeway and are matched by new regulations. We also demonstrate various tensions present in this process of regulated marketization; between national and local politics, between existing housing and new construction, and between policies implemented in different time-periods.

Key words

Private rent; housing policy; housing liberalization; neo-liberalization; buy-to-let

Download the paper (pdf)