The Reform of Housing in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union by Jozsef Hegedus, Ivan Tosics, Bengt Turner

By Jozsef Hegedus, Ivan Tosics, Bengt Turner

First released in 1992. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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It has played a principal role in a concrete historical situation and under particular political and economic circumstances. It is well known that Bulgaria was one of the nations most similar to the USSR in its government, constitution and economic policy. However, Bulgaria was not like the Soviet Union as regards its real estate ownership laws, as the Bulgarian government, while preserving its rights over the land, permits and encourages private ownership of housing; 85% of Bulgarian housing is said to be privately owned.

All opposition parties were abolished and a new constitution based on the Soviet model was adopted. Todor Zhivkov became First Secretary in 1954 and Prime Minister in 1962. When a new constitution was adopted in 1971 Zhivkov became head of the newly formed State Council, and remained so until he was superseded in November 1989 after big demonstrations against the regime. The recent wave of change in the political systems all over Eastern Europe has also had a great impact in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian version of Soviet perestroika—preustroistvo—was never a success; instead, the events of recent months indicate a development like that of the other East European countries.

4 Changes towards improved equity in terms of fairer access to housing and more just distribution of any remaining housing subsidies. A market solution without any regulations or clearcut rules for distribution generally does not improve access to housing for the ‘weak’ groups of society as there is a tendency to leave out principles of distribution based on need in favour of principles of distribution reflecting different levels of resources. But it could be balanced with a subsidy system levelling affordability in such a situation.

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