Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

In the Media


The People’s Housing: Woningcorporaties and the Dutch Social Housing System

Social housing makes up 29 percent of the total housing stock in the Netherlands. While the definition of “social housing” has changed over the last 120 years, as of 2022 it means 29 percent of housing in the Netherlands is leased for less than €763 per month. What makes the Dutch system unique is that its social housing is built, owned, and managed by a robust and decentralized network of 284 non-profit housing associations. In total, the housing associations own about 2.3 million units, making social housing an €87.3 billion sector. Even more striking, the housing associations do not receive any direct subsidy to fund their activities. They are able to manage and maintain their housing stock on a revolving fund from rental income and they make use of long-term loans to fund construction projects.

Bridging Health, Housing, and Generations: What the United States Might Learn from Germany’s Intentional Multigenerational Housing Demonstrations

Population aging and housing affordability challenges are driving an interest in alternative housing options in countries around the world. Older adults’ desires to age as independently as possible in their choice of housing and community, widespread affordability challenges, and concern about social isolation and loneliness have led to an interest in shared, multigenerational housing settings. One variation of these are intentional multigenerational communities, in which a range of households—including families with children as well as single people and couples of all ages—live in their own units within a shared property with the intent of sharing in community life and offering each other mutual support. This report sets out findings from a study of Wohnen für (Mehr)Generationen, a pilot program in Germany that helped support 30 innovative housing projects across the country.

Placing the Home in Context: Scale, Audience, Levels, Time, and Equity

How can digitalization help, or hinder, the wellbeing of older people who want to age in the community rather than in an institution? Responding to two papers—by Jennifer Molinsky, Samara Scheckler, Bailey Hu; and Carlos Martín—I point to five common themes: scale, audience, levels of automation, time, and equity. These issues demonstrate the complex landscape of digitalization, even when focusing on the home.