Comparative analysis of social housing policies’ modernization impacts in selected post-socialist countries

Institute for Social Policy, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Croatia

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Prof. dr. sc. Gojko Bežovan

Co-supervisors Ivan Rimac, Institute for Social Policy, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Dr. ing. Gerard van Bortel, Assistant Professor of Housing Management, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TUD, Delft, Netherlands


Centre for Development of Non-Profit Organisations, Zagreb, Croatia

TU Delft, Netherlands

Research project

Post-socialist countries went through a radical transition process in the beginning of 1990s. As a result of this process, part of the state-owned housing stock was privatized and returned to the former owners. Consequently, the social rental sector became a residual tenure for the most vulnerable social groups.

Nowadays, income inequality has increased, unemployment is high, poverty and social exclusion are threatening, and insecurity is part of the everyday life. Most post-socialist countries in Central East Europe subsidized the home buyers through tax exemptions, interest rate subsidies, mortgage guarantees, and contract savings premiums, which contributed to reproduction of social inequality. Social housing programs in transitional countries with decentralised housing policies are too small and unsustainable to meet housing demands and depend on contributions from weak governments. In many of the transitional countries homeownership became the social norm. Intergenerational transfers through inheritance are the most important reproduction of home ownership. A new generation of tenants is emerging in larger cities, consisting of less skilled migrants with lower incomes and at risk of poverty and social exclusion. Affordability is the main problem for all housing regimes in the region.

The purpose of this research project is to identify the impacts of liberalization and europeanization of housing policies in Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia. The results will help to gain insights into the performance and efficiency of housing subsidies systems; to identify evidences on sustainable and affordable social rental housing as well as good practices on housing provision for vulnerable social groups; and to propose measures to prevent and solve emerging social risks by means of new housing policies.

->To conduct an individual research project, interlinked with the other ESRs projects, focusing on:
  • Understanding social housing theory as a part of social welfare system
  • Development of a framework for comparative analysis of national housing and local housing regimes in capitals- metropolitan areas
  • Development a framework for comparative analyse of social housing regimes as a part of social welfare system at national and capitals level
  • Evaluation of the performance and efficiency of housing subsidies systems
  • Assessment of sustainability and affordability of social rental housing
  • Analysis of good practices on housing provision for vulnerable social groups
  • Setting measures to prevent and solve emerging social risks with new housing policies
->To participate in the network-wide activities (workshops, summer schools, conferences)
->To carry out the training required by the PhD programme of the host university.

As part of the individual research project, ESRs will carry out two secondments, each of 2 months, in the partner organisations.

ESRs are expected to have completed a doctoral thesis that can be defended at the host institution within or shortly after the project lifetime.

Specific requirements
->To hold an official Croatian undergraduate degree or equivalent, and a university master’s degree in social sciences, minimum of 300 ECTS credits, or
->To hold a qualification obtained in accordance with foreign educational systems, which must be accredited and accepted by the University of Zagreb, to have a level equivalent to that of an official Croatian master’s degree.
Generic requirements

The candidates must fulfil the eligibility and mobility requirements of the Marie Curie ITN programme:

To be eligible for recruitment within an ITN project, you must – at the date of recruitment – be within the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of your research career and not have a doctoral degree. Full-time equivalent research experience is measured from the date when you obtained the degree entitling you to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained, or in the country in which you are recruited), even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged. You may therefore be required to provide documentation proving your eligibility for recruitment.
You are required to undertake transnational mobility in order to be eligible for recruitment in an ITN project. As such, you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (e.g. work, studies) in the country where you are applying to for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. Holidays are not counted. Your employer is required to verify this fact, therefore you may be required to provide supporting documentation proving your place(s) of residence or work during the previous 3 years. Note that the mobility rule applies only to your first recruitment within the project, and not to other organisations to which you might be sent on secondment or at which you may subsequently also be recruited. Finally, the mobility rule is related to your residence or main activity and not to your nationality.

Please find more information about the requirements for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellows in Innovative Training Networks here

About us

Institute for Social Policy, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, is the leading national institution dealing with social development issues. The Institute applies an interdisciplinary approach in teaching, research and consultancy. It has a long experience of cooperation with relevant national and local stakeholders and also with other institutions in Central, Southeast and Western Europe, as well as in the USA. Through education, action oriented research and publications, the Institute influences public policies and provides know-how for public policy making for social policy issues, including: poverty and social integration, employment, third sector/civil society, social services, social innovations, social entrepreneurship, housing, urban development, pension policy, family policy, education, governance, regional development.

The Institute participated in two FP7 projects: “WILCO – Welfare Innovations in Favour of Cohesion“ and “TSI – Third Sector Impact“ which were dealing, among other, with the provision of housing for vulnerable social groups and the impact of third sector organisations on quality of life. It has also participated in several COST actions on social entrepreneurship (“Empowering the next generation of social enterprise scholars”), on social care (“Who cares in Europe”) and on innovations (SHINE – “Multi-disciplinary innovation for social change”). Recently, the Institute took part in the project “Service learning in the field of care for the homeless”, funded by the European Social Fund.

The Institute has a PhD programme on social policy and publishes regularly in the Croatian Journal of Social Policy.


The Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme offers highly competitive and attractive salary and working conditions which include:

->a living allowance (2,744 Euros per month)
->a monthly mobility allowance (600 Euros per month)
->a family allowance (if applicable, 500 Euros per month)

These allowances are used to cover the gross salary, employers’ compulsory deductions and benefits for the three years of the Marie Curie programme. The living allowance is a gross EU contribution to the salary costs of the full-time researcher. The family allowance is an estimated average that will be adapted to the specific conditions of the hired researcher. All three subsidies are subject to the deduction of compulsory social security contributions and income taxes in accordance with the regulations applicable in the country of the host institution. At the end of the three-year contract any possible difference between the gross amounts paid and the amount to be paid according to the programme will be equalized.

Enrolment fees in the PhD programme of the host institution will be covered by the programme during the 36-month period.


Please use this form to provide the following information:

->personal data
->confirmation of compliance with the eligibility and mobility requirements

And the required documentation:

->letter of motivation (maximum 2 pages)
->CV in EUROPASS format
->certificate of English proficiency
->transcripts of your academic degrees (translated into English, by a sworn translator; including ranking of degree classification)
->a research proposal in line with the ESR project (maximum 6 pages), for each ESR project you would like to apply (maximum three)
->if applicable, a professional portfolio
->two reference letters

Prof. Gojko Bežovan (

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