Research Article

DOI :10.26650/mcd2022-1076615   IUP :10.26650/mcd2022-1076615    Full Text (PDF)

Housing During The Pandemic

Feride Berna Uymaz

In the context of the increasing poverty rate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more difficult than ever to access housing opportunities. However, housing is a vital requisite for keeping oneself safe from the infection risk. Increasing poverty can increase homelessness and consequently the transmission of COVID-19. In addition, crowded and unsanitary living conditions can increase COVID-19 infection and death rates. In this article, the problem of housing as a reflection of the injustice in income distribution around the world and the effects of public-based housing policies created to solve this problem are discussed within the context of the historical framework and today’s pandemic conditions. In this context, the article aims to investigate whether it is possible to solve the housing problem through state interventions based on the legal framework, historical background, and country examples. This article concludes that permanent solutions to the housing problem, which is making the necessary housing accessible to individuals through public policies, especially by providing social houses, are in conflict with the profit-oriented general operating logic of the capitalist system.

DOI :10.26650/mcd2022-1076615   IUP :10.26650/mcd2022-1076615    Full Text (PDF)

Pandemide Barınma

Feride Berna Uymaz

Günümüzde Covid-19 nedeniyle yaşamakta olduğumuz pandemide artan yoksulluk koşullarında sağlıklı bir şekilde yaşanabilir barınma imkânlarına kavuşabilmek her zamankinden daha güç hale gelmişken; ancak aynı zamanda da enfeksiyondan kaçabilmek açısından barınma imkanları hayati önem kazanmıştır. Yoksulluğun derinleşmesiyle birlikte artan tahliyeler evsizliğin artışına ve beraberinde COVID-19 bulaşmasında da yükselmeye yol açabilmektedir. Ayrıca dünya örnekleri barınma yerindeki kalabalık ve sağlıksız yaşam koşullarının da COVID-19 enfeksiyon ve ölüm oranlarının artmasına neden olabileceğini göstermektedir. Pandemide barınaklarda yaşayanlar, uygunsuz evlerde barınanlar, evsizler, işsizler, ev kredisini ödeyemeyenler, işçiler, mülteciler gibi toplumun en yoksul kesimleri büyük bir tehdit altındadır. Makalede dünya genelinde gelir bölüşümündeki adaletsizliğin bir yansıma alanı olarak barınma sorunu ve bu sorunun çözümüne yönelik oluşturulan kamu temelli konut politikalarının etkileri, özellikle de sosyal konutlar bağlamında tarihsel çerçevede ve günümüz pandemi koşullarında dünya örnekleri incelenerek tartışılmıştır. Bu kapsamda makalenin amacı, hukuki çerçeve, tarihsel arka plan ve ülke örneklerine dayanarak barınma sorununun devlet politikaları aracılığıyla çözümünün mümkün olup olmadığının araştırılmasıdır. Bu amaç çerçevesinde barınma sorununa kalıcı çözümlerin, yani kamusal politikalar aracılığıyla, özellikle de sosyal konut sunularak bireylere ihtiyaç duyulan konutun erişilebilir kılınmasının kapitalist sistemin kar amaçlı genel işleyiş mantığıyla çatışmalı olduğu sonucuna varılmıştır.


Not all income segments of the society are equally affected by the pandemic. The inequality of income distribution worldwide, between regions and on a national basis, has become increasingly evident during the pandemic. This article discusses the effect of the injustice in income distribution on accessing housing opportunities. In every country, regardless of its development level, the homeless, those living in slums and crowded houses, refugees, workers, precarious workers, the unemployed, those who cannot pay their mortgages, etc. are more severely affected by the pandemic. In addition, they face problems in accessing housing opportunities. Having access to a house where one can stay safe is an important factor in protecting oneself from the virus and reducing the risk of transmission during the pandemic.

The legal ground for safe housing has been developed within the framework of the right to shelter so that everyone has access to a house where they can live in healthy conditions. This right is enshrined in the constitutions of 69 countries, the United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN Conventions, and European Union documents. The declarations of the UN conferences titled HABITAT are among the current documents on housing policies in the international arena.

When we look at the historical development of housing, the general trend shows that housing has been commodified as a financialization tool and has now become an investment tool rather than a place to live. However, we can see a deviation from this trend in the period of the Socialist Bloc, when housing policies were applied widely as a policy of the welfare states. In the face of the extraordinary increase in housing prices during the pandemic, recommendations on evacuation bans for protecting the right to housing against the commodification process, stopping the rent increases, protecting the homeless, preventing real estate from turning into an investment tool more unfairly than in normal times, etc. are presented. However, the rate of evacuations experienced while the pandemic was still in progress shows that the recommendations in question did not find many places in implementation. In the countries where these policies were implemented, these policies have caused deficits in the budgets, and it is estimated that the financing of these deficits will disrupt the income distribution.

The last section of this article discusses the possibilities of providing housing through social housing as part of longer-term strategies. Although there are different applications on a country basis, there are two basic elements in the definition of social housing: the amount of housing and the condition and quality of social housing are affected by political decision-making processes, and they are allocated to individuals without any profit motive. Social housing practices vary from country to country. Accordingly, social housing can be offered to a small audience, or it can be open to the use of every member of society. Social housing policies can be formulated by regional governments, local governments, housing cooperative associations, national governments, or for-profit organizations. Financing of social housing is realized through rental income, borrowing from the owner of the house, or publicly provided debts, subsidies, guaranties, and tax deductions.

Today, social housing policies are also affected by policies aimed at narrowing the public sector in general, and as a common feature added to the differences in country practices, it is emphasized that social housing policies are becoming increasingly private-sector driven. In this context, the already worn-out social housing stock, which is a result of the reduction of funds for social policy, is decreasing due to the lack of renovations and the inability to produce new ones, resulting from the decrease in public investments. The existing stock of social housing is privatized, and therefore, it becomes a policy tool that can serve only smaller target groups. The role of the private sector in the financing of social housing, which is a purely political choice, is increasing not only in investments but also in financing investment. All these developments in the current stage of capitalism show that social policy cannot offer housing opportunities for everyone and that social housing policies remain a promise that only politically presents the right to housing.  

PDF View



Copy and paste a formatted citation or use one of the options to export in your chosen format



Uymaz, F.B. (2022). Housing During The Pandemic. Journal of Public Finance Studies, 0(67), 139-157.


Uymaz F B. Housing During The Pandemic. Journal of Public Finance Studies. 2022;0(67):139-157.


Uymaz, F.B. Housing During The Pandemic. Journal of Public Finance Studies, [Publisher Location], v. 0, n. 67, p. 139-157, 2022.

Chicago: Author-Date Style

Uymaz, Feride Berna,. 2022. “Housing During The Pandemic.” Journal of Public Finance Studies 0, no. 67: 139-157.

Chicago: Humanities Style

Uymaz, Feride Berna,. Housing During The Pandemic.” Journal of Public Finance Studies 0, no. 67 (Oct. 2023): 139-157.

Harvard: Australian Style

Uymaz, FB 2022, 'Housing During The Pandemic', Journal of Public Finance Studies, vol. 0, no. 67, pp. 139-157, viewed 1 Oct. 2023,

Harvard: Author-Date Style

Uymaz, F.B. (2022) ‘Housing During The Pandemic’, Journal of Public Finance Studies, 0(67), pp. 139-157. (1 Oct. 2023).


Uymaz, Feride Berna,. Housing During The Pandemic.” Journal of Public Finance Studies, vol. 0, no. 67, 2022, pp. 139-157. [Database Container],


Uymaz FB. Housing During The Pandemic. Journal of Public Finance Studies [Internet]. 1 Oct. 2023 [cited 1 Oct. 2023];0(67):139-157. Available from: doi: 10.26650/mcd2022-1076615


Uymaz, FerideBerna. Housing During The Pandemic”. Journal of Public Finance Studies 0/67 (Oct. 2023): 139-157.


Published Online27.04.2022


Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.


Istanbul University Press aims to contribute to the dissemination of ever growing scientific knowledge through publication of high quality scientific journals and books in accordance with the international publishing standards and ethics. Istanbul University Press follows an open access, non-commercial, scholarly publishing.