The face of affordable housing in a neoliberal paradigm

Rachel Friedman*, Gillad Rosen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This article makes borrowed use of the ‘paradigm shift’ concept to explain the development and culmination of Israel’s neoliberal housing transformation. Using a mixed-method approach based chiefly on 60 interviews conducted with key players in Israel’s housing industry, we examine how a shift in authority over housing policy promoted two central ideas that reshaped the housing arena and urban space. We explore how these themes, specifically, construing housing in-affordability as a supply issue and defining its beneficiaries as the middle class, shaped key affordable housing mechanisms. These mechanisms include increasing the supply of general housing, small-size housing units and rentals. We also identify a parallel paradigm – a shadow paradigm – alongside the reigning neoliberal paradigm that is used as an intervention mechanism in times of crisis or during windows of opportunity. We demonstrate how the shadow paradigm addresses housing needs that cannot be met within the governing paradigm, for example, through the buyer’s price programme.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)959-975
Number of pages17
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Urban Studies Journal Limited 2019.


  • Israel
  • built environment
  • housing
  • neoliberalism
  • planning
  • policy
  • social group


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