“Strategies of Capital Accumulation in Times of Land Scarcity. A Field Perspective on Social Housing Construction in Vienna” by SPACE researchers Carina Altreiter and Katharina Litschauer
This paper by SPACE researchers Carina Altreiter and Katharina Litschauer discusses strategies of capital accumulation in the field of social housing in Vienna. Recently, cities across Europe have experienced rising prices for land, construction and increasing housing costs. The question of how companies providing social housing mediate housing policies in light of increasing market challenges has been widely neglected. The article takes the case of Vienna to explore how limited-profit housing associations – the current main providers of social housing – navigate market changes. Following Bourdieu, the article employs a field approach to map the power relations governing the field of social housing construction and explore their influence on strategies for capital accumulation. Drawing on multiple correspondence analysis and qualitative interviews, the article shows that the city’s introduction of competitive tenders for building plots strengthened cultural and social capital over economic capital within the field. It provides an in-depth analysis of the market effects of housing policy instruments by locating their structuring effects in relational market configurations rather than solely focusing on housing market outcomes.