Funder: EC Project Code: 101059188
Funder Contribution: 133,736 EUR
Partners: University of Bucharest
This proposal aims to understand, through the conceptual lens of home, tenants’ and landlords’ practices in ‘hidden’ private rental sectors, where informal transactions increase risks and hide vulnerability away from state regulatory gaze - as the Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly exposed across much of the globe. Taking the post-communist context as an example of an emerging and hidden PRS and drawing on a specific view of home as assemblage of materials, money, relations and affects, this research project aims to: Understand a hidden social world, by asking why tenants and landlords engage in the sector, whether their practices permit making a private tenancy home, and how they construct ideas of power, risk and trust; Nuance existing concepts of space and propose new concepts of time as they unfold in a privately rented home; Inform the national and international debate on PRS regulation. To achieve its aims, the proposal takes a qualitative multi-disciplinary approach, creating synergies between methods developed from meta-ethnography (critical interpretative synthesis), sociology and visual studies (qualitative questionnaires and photo-elicitation interviews), and public policy (scenario building). Through its focus on rental housing, a mechanism that generates important inequalities of wealth, health and wellbeing, the project aligns with the European Union strategy of creating a more resilient and inclusive society, and its concern for addressing inequalities.