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Reproducing housing commons. Government involvement and differential commoning in a housing cooperative

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Since the late nineteenth century, reoccurring economic depressions and related housing crises have led to the development of collectively shared and managed housing systems. Nowadays depicted as ‘housing commons’, these systems are rooted in the early twentieth-century cooperative garden city housing model. Some of these housing initiatives have been marketed, while others have been scaled-up or co-opted by the state. Through a detailed discussion of changing government involvement in a rental cooperative neighbourhood in the Brussels Capital Region, and an analysis of participative practices, we discuss the relevance of the cooperative model today. Rather than an obsolete system, the paper shows that differential forms of commoning reproduce the cooperative model, resulting in capacity building and increased social capital among participating inhabitants. This sheds a different light on common-pool resource theory, which prescribes strict regulations to prevent free-ridership or enclosure.
Journal: Housing Studies
ISSN: 0267-3037
Issue: 1
Volume: 34
Pages: 92-110
Number of pages: 19
Publication year:2019
Keywords:commoning, Housing commons, housing cooperatives