Public Housing and the Fear of Private Equity – Assessing Social Impacts
This contribution examines the consequences of sales of municipal flats to private investors, which have been criticised strongly for social reasons. An evaluation of the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) from 1999 to 2006 reveals no serious consequences of the privatisation of municipal flats on the affected households. It cannot produce empirical evidence to foster arguments for the public criticism of the public housing sales. The essential results from this sample point to moderate rent increases and above-average investment activity after the privatisation. However, the analysis of the household´s sentiment whether the total expense load for the flat is adequate shows that tenants in privatised flats found their flat increasingly expensive. A possible reason for this development might be the lower mobility of the residents of municipal flats.