The American Housing Model in Russia
This chapter examines the process of transplanting American housing institutions to Russia through three stages: privatization, establishment of mortgage finance, and the government's attempts to rescue the market from failure. After the collapse of Soviet rule, the new government tried to construct a housing market via the Housing Sector Reform Project (HSRP). The Yeltsin administration and its American advisers had three goals: to reduce the state's role in the housing sector, to enable markets to allocate housing according to resources and preferences, and to convince the public that housing markets are efficient and fair. This chapter first provides an overview of the Russian government's attempts to transplant the housing market during the period 1992–1998 before analyzing why the market failed in the next five years. It then discusses the emergence of the mortgage market in 2005–2009, with particular emphasis on mortgage subsidies and mortgage lending. It also considers the tension between state and market in Russian housing policy and concludes by assessing the consequences of the market failure for Russian housing.
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