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Renewing Europe's housing$
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Richard Turkington and Christopher Watson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447310129

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447310129.001.0001

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Estonia: learning through ‘societal experiment’

Estonia: learning through ‘societal experiment’

(p.123) Six Estonia: learning through ‘societal experiment’
Renewing Europe's housing

Katrin Paadam

Liis Ojamäe

Policy Press

The expropriation of land and property in Estonia under the post-Second World War socialist regime was reversed in the restitution and privatisation of housing in the early 1990s. Until 1991, the socialist system concentrated on new construction rather than the restoration or renovation of the older, nationalised housing stock, which deteriorated from lack of investment. The 1990s brought a new framework for housing policy; a concern for the preservation of heritage buildings; and a realisation of the difficulties in getting flat owners to collaborate in the management, maintenance and renewal of their housing. By the 2000s, housing improvement was being encouraged, though on a small scale, by the provision of grants and loan guarantees; and in response to the need for energy efficiency. The emphasis of policy is, however, still on the renewal of single blocks rather than areas of housing. There is no estimate yet of the total dwellings requiring improvement and the likely costs involved. The chapter presents three case studies of housing renewal, from Tallinn and Rakvere: one in a district with housing of heritage value; one in an area of large-scale standard housing blocks from the 1960s–80s; and one, still in the planning stage, in an area of mixed housing, which takes the neighbourhood as a starting point for the improvement of residential quality.

Keywords:   Estonian former socialist regime, Estonian housing since independence, housing renewal collaboration, heritage preservation, Tallinn

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