Commodifying Danish housing commons

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Housing was a backbone of the Danish welfare state, but this has been profoundly challenged by the past decades of neoliberal housing politics. In this article we outline the rise of the Danish model of association-based housing on the edge of the market economy (and the state). From this, we demonstrate how homes in private cooperatives through political interventions in the context of a booming real estate market have plunged into the market economy and been transformed into private commodities in all but name, and we investigate how non-profit housing associations frontally and stealthily are attacked through neoliberal reforms. This carries the seeds for socio-spatial polarization and may eventually open the gate for commodification – and thus the dismantling of the little that is left of a socially just housing sector. Yet, while the association-based model was an accessary to the commodification of cooperative housing, it can possibly be an accomplice in sustaining non-profit housing as a housing commons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-274
JournalGeografiska Annaler. Series B. Human Geography
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Human Geography

Free keywords

  • commodification
  • neoliberalization
  • welfare state
  • housing
  • commons
  • social justice


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