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The MOBA Housing Network: building finance opportunities for cooperative housing in Central and South-Eastern Europe, from the bottom up

Conference contribution
Authors Agnes Gagyi
Published in 2nd Change Finance Conference, Brussels
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Sociology and Work Science
Language en
Subject categories Sociology, Social and Economic Geography


The MOBA Housing Network is a collaboration of emerging cooperative housing initiatives in Central and South-Eastern Europe, to create affordable financing opportunities and enabling institutional frameworks for cooperative housing in the region. It came to life in 2017, when members of housing cooperative initiatives from Belgrade, Bratislava, Budapest, Ljubljana, and Zagreb started to discuss and share their perspectives. Soon they recognized that the factors that slow their progress locally have common, systemic causes rooted in the region’s position within global financial markets, and the peculiarities of post-socialist housing geographies: the lack of affordable housing finance, the absence of public support to mitigate the affordable finance gap for lower-income populations, and the lack of legal and institutional frameworks addressing and recognizing cooperative housing models, after state socialist models of cooperatives were destroyed. Coming together as bottom-up, localized approaches, MOBA members decided to address systemic limitations through building an institutional framework at the regional scale to attract, channel and manage financial flows for housing cooperatives. They have designed an institutional model for such a framework, and are currently running pilot projects in each country that establishes the institutional frameworks locally as it develops. MOBA has been created by members of a new generation of activists and professionals who, after decades of neoliberal pro-market policies, are starting to build structures of solidarity in the field of housing, housing finance and solidarity economy. Its story is not one of accomplished victories, but one of resolution and creativity put at the service of imagining and constructing alternatives in an environment in which they are crucially lacking.

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