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Practices of Housing Production in Albania in the 1990s and 2000s: Leading Social Integration Processes?

Fereniki VATAVALI*1
* Corresponding author
1Hellenic Open University, School of Science and Technology
, Athens, GREECE
Pages: 1-7

Abstract. The aim of this article is to discuss the transition of housing in Albania from a centrally-planned economy to a free-market economy, by focusing on practices adopted in housing production after the collapse of state socialism in 1989 and until the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2008. The inefficiency of policies and formal market forces to deal with massive urbanization and the demand for housing have led to the dominance of self-constructions, informal activities and exchange practices in housing production. In this sense, documentation of perceptions and experiences of individuals that are active in housing production can contribute to the understanding of housing sector and land development processes. The main argument is that the dynamics of housing sector and adopted practices in the context of transition play an important role for social integration processes in Albania. In terms of methodology, a mixed-method approach has been adopted; analysis of statistical data and institutional reforms were combined with qualitative research on social practices based on interviews.

K e y w o r d s:  housing, transition, Albania, practices, social integration