31.5.2011 International Conference
20th October 2011 will be held international conference "Housing and Regions: Innovative Housing Solutions" at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Národní 3, Prague.

  • Abstracts and CVs

Housing and Regions: Innovative Housing Solutions

Conference Programme - sessions and speakers

Session 1: Regional Differences in Housing Affordability in the Czech Republic: Measurement Problems and Their Solutions


Measurement of Regional Differences in Housing Affordability in the Czech Republic

Martin Lux, Institute of Sociology AS CR, Prague


Due to the lack of sufficiently large datasets for the measurement of regional differences in housing affordability in the Czech Republic it was necessary to develop an original methodology combining the databases on prices and rents with adjusted statistical data on household incomes. The goal of this introductory presentation will be to describe this methodology and its application. The trends in regional differentiation in affordability of rental and owner-occupied housing in the Czech Republic during 2000-2010 and their evaluation will be presented.


Martin Lux, head of the Department of Socioeconomics of Housing at the Institute of Sociology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, applies the skills he acquired from the study of economics and sociology to his housing research. His research interest is especially concentrated on housing systems, housing policies, housing economics and finance. He is the author or co-author of 18 articles published or accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals with an impact factor and the editor and the main author of nine monographs, two of which were published abroad. He coordinated an international project in six post-socialist states (Local Government and Housing) and received a Marie Curie Fellowship from the European Commission (project conducted at the University of Glasgow). He is a member of the European Network for Housing Research and was the main organizer of its annual conference in Prague in 2009. He has two PhD titles, one from the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.


Measurement of Regional and Intra-Regional Disparities in Affordability and Availability of Housing: Software Solution

Martin Ferko, VŠB-TU Ostrava


A unified method for the measurement of disparities in the affordability and availability of housing by algorithmic statistical methods offers the opportunity to determine the indicators of spatial housing inequalities. This method searches for territorial units that exhibit significant differences from the rest of the region or other regions. The method explores areas that can be described as showing disparities. The monitored area is analysed in terms of variability in housing indicators in time and these areas are clustered using the K-Means clustering process based on selected criteria. This method introduces an index of distinction: a measure of the differences of the compared spatial unit from other spatial units. The software application called Disparitér, revealing in a complex manner all the possible regional differences in housing affordability and availability, together with index of distinction, will be presented.


Martin Ferko is a graduate of VSB – Technical University of Ostrava, Faculty of Civil Engineering. He is a lecturer in the Department of Municipal Engineering and focuses on the issues of computer-aided design and modelling and the facility management of buildings. He is the author or co-author of a number of articles published in journals and of contributions presented at international and national conferences. He is currently working on his PhD at VSB – Technical University of Ostrava, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Department of Municipal Engineering.


Methodology for a Rent Map and its Application in the Czech Republic

Milada Kadlecová, Institute for Regional Information, Brno


Rent control ended on 31 December 2010 in most parts of the Czech Republic. Some 400,000 apartments are subject to new conditions for the negotiation of rent. Negotiating new rents is a rather lengthy process; it will certainly take several years to stabilize rents to their locally relevant and market-balanced value. A rent map, as one of the tools to achieve this goal, has been prepared by the Ministry for Regional Development and implemented by the Institute for Regional Information (IRI). It was first introduced to the public at the end of February 2011. IRI also prepared the Rent Map Information System, through which the public has been provided with information on rent, its structure and amounts in the Czech Republic since February 2011. The map should include data for 639 towns and villages at the end of 2011. The main methodological framework for the rent map and rent map information system, including their actual improvements, will be presented.


Milada Kadlecová has been a managing director of an independent private company, the Institute for Regional Information (IRI), since 2000. IRI focuses on housing and the provision of all services in the processing of planning documents and planning analytical materials at the regional and municipal level, including the processing of analyses of sustainable development. Since 2000, she has coordinated the monitoring of housing prices in the Czech Republic, implemented by IRI, and the co-processing of price and value maps and development concepts and studies for cities, municipalities, central authorities and private companies. She graduated from the Faculty of Economics and Public Administration of the University of Economics in Prague. She also spent ten years working for the Research Institute of Construction and Architecture, and later worked at the Institute for Spatial Development, where she participated in projects in the field of spatial economics and housing.


Session 2: Impact of Housing Affordability Trends on Demography and Migration in the Czech Republic


Housing Affordability in Czech Regions and Demographic Behaviour – Does Housing Affordability Impact Fertility?

Jana Vobecká, Institute of Sociology AS CR, Prague


The text examines the relationship between housing affordability and fertility in the Czech Republic after 1989. An analysis of national data suggests that improving housing affordability might be a factor behind the rise of fertility that has been observed since the beginning of the 2000s. The regional variation in fertility is generally lower than the regional variation of indicators of both housing affordability and the economic situation. Although the number of children born increased noticeably, total fertility did not increase at the same pace, and its regional patterns remained rather stable. The most important factor that influences the regional variation in fertility is the education of women, particularly young women. When the education of women is controlled for, housing affordability plays an important role in explaining the regional variation in fertility – both the total fertility rate and the timing of childbearing.


Jana Vobecká is a junior researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic. She is also a doctoral student of demography at Charles University in Prague and at Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, France. Her main research interests are spatial population dynamics, internal migration, local governance and the population development of the Jews in Bohemia before 1939. She was a Junior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Collegium Budapest.


The Impact of Housing Affordability on Labour Migration in the Czech Republic

Petr Sunega, Institute of Sociology AS CR, Prague


Compared to EU15 countries or the USA the Czech Republic has a relatively low rate of internal migration. Despite the significant regional differences in the unemployment rate and thus the rational incentives to migrate, internal labour migration has remained at a relatively low level. Previous research studies have shown that housing tenure has a very significant effect on potential internal labour migration in the Czech Republic, even after controlling for the effect of other factors related to labour migration. Here, the intensity of inter-regional labour migration has been compared to changes in regional differences in housing affordability. The results show that the effect is relatively weak and statistically significant only for migrants to the capital city of Prague with completed university education.


Petr Sunega graduated in 2000 in finance from the University of Economics in Prague. During 2000 – 2003 he worked as a research fellow at the Institute of Sociology and since 2003 he has been working as a researcher at the same institute. His research activities are focused on the following topics: the economic aspects of housing, the assessment of the effectiveness of housing policy tools, simulation modelling of existing or new housing policy tools, the assessment of house price development in the CR and the factors behind the development of house prices. He participated in most of the grant projects conducted by the Department of Socioeconomics of Housing and was the main coordinator of his own start-up project. He is the author or co-author of 13 articles published or accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals with an impact factor.


Session 3: Major Trends in European Housing Policies and the Response of Policies to the Global Economic Crisis


European Housing Policies on the Move
Peter Boelhouwer, Delft University of Technology, Delft


This lecture will pay attention to recent policy innovations in the field of housing. After a short introduction about the role of government intervention in the housing market and the different ways of intervening in the housing market more generally, attention will be turned to the specific content of current housing policies in some European countries. More specifically, recent policy statements will be presented and insight will be provided into the differences and similarities between general policies. After elaborating general housing policy, the presentation will focus on the specific position of the rental sector in different European countries. Items that will be discussed are the principal purpose of social renting, the allocation systems, rent regulation and rent adjustment and the different ways of subsidizing.


Peter Boelhouwer is professor Housing systems/ Scientific Director OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies, Delft University of Technology. He graduated in 1983 as a human geographer from Utrecht University. After his graduation he conducted a dissertation on the effects of the sale of social rental housing. After the publication of his thesis, he moved to OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies of the Delft University of Technology (TUD). The first few years he mainly carried out research on the rental sector and on housing finance. In the early nineties, together with Harry van der Heijden, he developed a new research programme on comparative housing policy. In the years afterwards, he redirected his research efforts towards studying home-ownership and house price developments. In December 2001, he received a personal professorship in the field of Housing Systems at the Faculty of Architecture. Since that date he has also been part of the Department of Real Estate and Housing and is responsible for the master’s programme on housing policy. By September 2003, he became the scientific director of the OTB and the director of the Research Centre for Sustainable Urban Areas at TU Delft. In 2005 he became a member of the advisory council of the Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning and the Environment. Since 2008 he is chair of the European Network for Housing Research. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Housing and the Built Environment.


The Resilience of National Housing Systems in Times of a Credit Crunch

Hugo Priemus, Delft University of Technology, Delft

Since World War II the world has experienced several financial crises. First the speaker will deal with the impacts of these financial crises in general and impacts on the housing market in particular. The impacts in individual EU-countries were different. The presentation will illustrate these differences and try to explain these differences. Finally, some recommendations will be formulated about the way the resilience of national housing systems could be strengthened vis-à-vis the credit crunch.


Hugo Priemus is professor emeritus in Housing at Delft University of Technology. He was dean of the Faculty of Architecture and later the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management of Delft University of Technology. He has been educated as an architect and an economist.


The Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on the Housing Market in the Czech Republic – Who Were the Most Vulnerable and How Housing Policy Could Potentially Alleviate Their Problems

Tomáš Kostelecký, Institute of Sociology AS CR, Prague


The global financial crisis of the late 2000s noticeably impacted the economy of the Czech Republic in general, but its impact on the Czech housing market was less dramatic than that in many other countries. This contribution first describes the specific features of the Czech housing market and explains how they contributed to mitigating the impact of the economic crisis. It then empirically identifies the specific social groups that were the most exposed to housing affordability problems during the crisis. Finally, potential tools of government housing policy that could be used to alleviate the negative consequences of the next economic crisis for the Czech housing market are discussed.


Tomáš Kostelecký is a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and head of the Department of Local and Regional Studies. His research interests have long included the spatial aspects of human behaviour, regional and comparative policy, and the political effects of metropolitanisation and suburbanisation. He regularly publishes work in domestic and foreign journals and books. He was the Woodrow Wilson International Fellow in Washington D.C., a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science scholar at the University of Hokkaido in Sapporo, Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow at CNRS/Science Po in Bordeaux, and had a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.


Session 4: Homelessness and Social Exclusion: Causes and Innovative Housing Solutions


Homelessness and Social Exclusion: Causes and Solutions in the EU

Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh


This presentation will review current evidence on the causes of homelessness and housing exclusion in the EU, and will also discuss possible solutions. It will draw on evidence from a recent EC-commissioned study on ‘Housing Exclusion: Welfare Policies, Labour Market and Housing Provision’, which investigated the nature of, and responses to, homelessness in six EU Member States (UK, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Portugal and the Netherlands). Particular attention will be paid to the ‘Housing First’ model for addressing homelessness amongst those with the most complex needs, which is now attracting a great deal of interest across Europe.


Suzanne Fitzpatrick completed her PhD on youth homelessness at the University of Glasgow in 1998 and she subsequently held a number of posts in the Department of Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow. From 2003 to 2010 Suzanne was Joseph Rowntree Professor of Housing Policy and Director of the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York, and took up her current post as Professor of Housing and Social Policy at Heriot-Watt University in July 2010. Suzanne specialises in research on homelessness and housing exclusion, and much of her work has an international comparative dimension. Suzanne is Editor of the International Journal of Housing Policy.


People in Risk of Social Exclusion in the Czech Republic: A System of Guaranteed Housing

Martina Mikeszová, Institute of Sociology AS CR, Prague


The paper will focus on the problems of low affordability of housing for specific groups of households in the Czech Republic and on possible strategies to increase the accessibility and affordability of housing for people at risk of social exclusion. In the paper the causes of housing exclusion as well as the factors of successful social reintegration and re-housing will be discussed. The objective of the presentation is to present a new policy tool – a system of guaranteed housing – conceived as social housing for households who are disadvantaged in the housing market and cannot find affordable, adequate and spatially non-excluded long-term rental housing.


Martina Mikeszová studied sociology and economics at the master’s level and is currently a PhD student at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University. Since 2006 she has been a junior researcher at the Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and she works on projects run by the Department of the Socioeconomics of Housing. In her work she focuses on analysing the housing market, housing affordability and homelessness.


Session 5: Increasing Housing Accessibility: Innovative Housing Solutions


Increasing Housing Accessibility for Young People and Lone Seniors: Increasing the Variability in Housing Supply

Helena Vařejková, Institute for Regional Information, Brno


Increasing the variability of housing supply through the structural division of a large apartment into two smaller housing units will be presented as an effective tool that can help to increase the availability and accessibility of housing for young singles and lone pensioners. Increasing the variability of the housing stock within existing buildings is less costly and time-consuming than new construction and it also partially helps to prevent the depopulation of cities. Particular examples and financial sustainability (with and without government grants) will be examined. This approach provides municipalities (and private landlords) with a relatively efficient way to get new housing units under current economic conditions.


Helena Vařejková has been focusing on housing issues from the perspective of an architect since 2000, not only in terms of town planning and building, but also in relation to legal and lease relations, legislation, administration, quality of housing and economic contexts. She advocates for sustainable development in architecture and a healthy environment in buildings. After she graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in Brno in 1986, she worked for a construction design and engineering company in the food industry and for an architectural design studio active in building and comprehensive interior design and implementation. Since 1998 she has designed and implemented a number of control rooms’ and laboratories' interiors in industrial buildings, hospital interiors in healthcare, creative solutions to humanize children's hospital wards, interiors and gardens for kindergartens, and commercial and office space.


Increasing Housing Accessibility for Seniors: Lifetime Homes

Renata Zdařilová, VŠB-TU Ostrava


Currently, the issue of an aging population is growing in importance. Adequate housing for seniors is especially important for preventing or delaying the departure of seniors to special facilities and residential facilities, which separate them from their families and cut them off from their previous social contacts. This requirement is based on the need to create conditions for decent and adequate housing for seniors by adopting the principle of lifetime homes requirements. The potential of the concept of lifetime homes in the Czech Republic will be discussed and presented.


Renata Zdařilová graduated from the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Brno. She currently works as a lecturer in the Department of Urban Engineering at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, VSB-TU Ostrava. Professionally, she focuses on the issues of building design and the use of barrier-free buildings. She is an advisor of the Czech Chamber of Authorised Engineers and Technicians in Construction (CKAIT), she has created methodological and technical tools and methodologies for lifetime homes and she is the co-author of public notice no. 398/2009 Coll. on general technical requirements to secure barrier-free usage of buildings. She has written several articles published in professional journals and contributions presented at international and national conferences.


Extending the Lifespan of the Housing Stock: Educational Programme

František Kuda, VŠB-TU Ostrava


Educational programmes rank among the tools that could increase the availability of residential properties, for example, by educating people on possible strategies for extending the lifespan of the housing stock. The goal of the presented educational programme is to increase the general awareness of effective facility management for residential properties. The strategic intention of the educational programme is to transfer necessary information and knowledge, in a differentiated form, to four main user groups (facility management experts, investors and designers, public authorities and educational institutions). The expected outcome of the educational programme should be more efficient use of residential properties, an increase in the number of available flats and apartments, a better-quality housing stock, and more interest from investors. Guidelines for repair and modernization of the housing stock may considerably affect and revive economic activities.


František Kuda graduated from the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the Technical University of Brno. Since 2002 he has been the head of the Department of Municipal Engineering at the Technical University of Ostrava. He focuses on the economic aspects of the construction business, paying particular attention to building work, the preparation and organization of construction, and the assessment of construction quality and costs within life cycles and asset management. He is the author or co-author of many studies and papers published in specialized journals. He has presented papers at international and national conferences and seminars dealing with facility management, asset administration and applied GIS.