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Master Thesis

The impact of covid-19 on housing affordability indexes Grenoble, France : a case study

Abstract : On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that the outbreak of COVID-19 constituted a public health emergency of international concern. Less than two months later, on 11 March 2020, WHO announced that the outbreak had developed into an international pandemic and that the COVID-19 virus is highly contagious to humans. Preventative acts were set in place; some countries went into full isolation and virtually all businesses were closed. The impact of the pandemic manifested almost immediately on several levels. Some of these were expected, such as its effect on healthcare and the economy. Other effects, such as the pandemic’s impact on housing affordability, however, took longer to surface. Soon after the outbreak of COVID-19, scholars of housing began measuring its impact on housing. Several reports and studies were published, most notably The State of Housing in Europe 2020, and Housing Europe’s Annual Report, 2021. Despite early success in identifying the effect of the pandemic on housing affordability, there remains no systematic method to assess housing affordability indexes. Additionally, most studies on the relationship between pandemics and housing affordability focus on vulnerable groups rather than society in general. Consequently, this thesis seeks to answer the following questions: What affordability indexes are related to COVID-19? What are COVID-19’s direct and indirect effects on housing affordability? How should the pandemic’s impact on housing affordability be assessed? And what lessons can we learn from the COVID-19 outbreak to ease the impact of similar pandemics in the future? By addressing these questions, this thesis works to establish a foundational understanding of the relationship between the pandemic and housing affordability. Put more simply, it investigates COVID-19’s impact on housing affordability indicators in the long term and the short term. Additionally, it brings together the different approaches, methods, and indexes used to study housing affordability in an effort to create a systematic framework that can be employed when specific conditions are met such as data avilability, time and location of the study. This thesis uses both qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate and analyse the relationship between the pandemic and housing affordability; it identifies commonly used definitions and approaches and examines various indexes including the state of the housing market (income and cost), housing provisions (new and existing), and the social composition of the housing landscape. While a set of qualitative tools were deployed to develop the theoretical base of this study, quantitative tools were used to form a systemic assessment framework. Both tools were used to conduct a systematic analysis of the study location on a national scale (the French Republic) and on a communal scale (the city of Grenoble). The outcome of this investigation has been formulated as a theoretical database that defines, describes, and explains pandemics, housing affordability, and the associated costs of pandemics on Page x of 99 housing affordability indexes. In addition, a systematic framework has been developed to clarify the methods used to measure the effects of the pandemic on housing affordability in Grenoble, France. More broadly, this thesis aims to bridge the gap in the extant literature and pave the way for future research on COVID-19’s impact on housing affordability and on the methods used to measure the negative costs associated with pandemics.
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Master Thesis
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 30, 2021 - 2:11:02 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 13, 2022 - 3:40:44 AM


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Mahmoud Alsaeed. The impact of covid-19 on housing affordability indexes Grenoble, France : a case study. Architecture, space management. 2021. ⟨dumas-03359712⟩



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