FINHABIT
Inhabiting in Financial Times: Housing and the Production of Space in Democratic Portugal

Period
July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2019
Duration
36 months
Funding Entity
FEDER - Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional funds through the COMPETE 2020 - Operacional Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation (POCI), and by Portuguese funds through FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Abstract

 

FINHABIT aims at studying the relation between housing provision and space production in Portugal from 1974 onwards. By studying housing in this semiperipheral European country, looking at the ways in which finance has shaped the use of space, FINHABIT endeavours to illustrate the importance of bringing space into financialisation studies, and financialisation into geographical studies.
Financialisation, broadly understood as the rise in the role of financial markets, actors and motives in the economy and society, is crucial to understanding the recent evolution of contemporary capitalism. But while financialisation is claimed as broadening and deepening the reach of finance within existing and new actors and sites, research has been insufficiently attentive to tensions between territorial and relational spatialities.
FINHABIT adopts an interdisciplinary approach, placing the study of housing provision in Portugal within its historical, political and geographical contexts so as to expose their systemic, sectorspecific and geographically differentiated dimensions. It organises research on the basis of relevant questions to the case at hand, inclusive of different levels, scales and units of analysis (e.g. European and national policy, the financial and the housing sectors, and individual behaviours and experiences), as well as the consideration of varied material and nonmaterial explanatory variables, including the interests and values that are favoured (as well as hindered) by ongoing processes of financialisation, and the diverse means by which these are promoted and advanced (e.g. institutional change and discourse), even if open to contradictions and tensions.

 

This work is funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the COMPETE 2020 - Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation (POCI), and by Portuguese funds through FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, within the scope of FINHABIT project, ref.ª PTDC/ATP-GEO/2362/2014 - POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016869.

Funding: 197.220€

FEDER funding: 152.652€

Portuguese funds, OE: 44.568€

Outcomes

Results:
• Promotion of the political economy approach to housing issues, contextualizing historically, politically and territorially the provision of this essential good;
• Analysis of recent developments in housing provision, placing them within the broader framework of the financialization process of the Portuguese economy, ie the recent expansion of the financial sector;
• Mapping the forms of housing provision and their differentiation in the national territory, where the provisioning subsystem marked by financialization is only one of the modalities in presence, although it is the most striking;
• Analysis of real estate investment processes whose main objective is the extraction of rents through short-term leases to tourists, resulting in the replacement of the resident population by visitors from more advanced economies, radically changing the life of the neighborhoods;
• Demonstration of the fundamental, essential and non-alienable role of housing in meeting the basic needs and psychological well-being of the human being, reinforcing the inseparability between housing, security and human dignity.


Until the project is completed, it is expected that:
• To explore the theoretical implications of the results obtained for studies of financialization in semiperipheral contexts such as Portuguese;
• To deduce the implications of the results achieved for housing policy and urban planning;
• Conduct a final conference to discuss and disseminate project results.

Partners

Instituto de Geografia e Ordenamento do Território da Universidade de Lisboa (IGOT/Ulisboa)

Consultants
Ben Fine
Gillian Hart
Manuel Aalbers
Keywords
financialisation, housing, space, uneven development