UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Urban housing policy and housing commercialization in socialist countries : China and Hungary Chen, Lijian


Housing was considered a public good rather than a marketable commodity at the early stage in the development of most socialist countries. Governments in those countries assumed full responsibility for urban housing finance, construction, allocation, management, maintenance and rehabilitation. A policy of low official rents and high subsidies was adopted as the method to ensure that all urban residents would have access to the state built housing stock. Success in solving the housing problem was to be a showpiece for the socialist countries. However, after approximately forty years of development of the socialist housing economy, many urban residents in countries such as China and Hungary still face severe housing problems. The governments in these two countries have initiated a variety of new efforts in recent years in an attempt to improve the living conditions of their urban residents. In spite of this, many urban housing problems persist and some are even becoming worse. In view of this situation, both governments have introduced new housing policies which recognize certain aspects of housing as a commodity within the socialist economy. A major aim of these new policies is to encourage individual financial participation in residential construction. This approach, commonly referred to as the policy of housing commercialization, is considered by government to be a feasible approach to resolving the tenacious urban housing problem and an effective means to significantly improve living conditions for all urban residents. By undertaking a comparative study of China's and Hungary's urban housing policies, housing delivery systems and housing problems, this research endeavours to describe and assess the rationale and other associated factors behind this housing policy transformation in both China and Hungary. In addition, this research examines the lessons of Hungary's housing policy reform and concludes with a set of policy recommendations for China's future urban housing efforts.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.