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Opening of 2 PhD positions at VUB and KU Leuven in the field of housing and neighborhood studies

Deadline for application: 3rd May 2021

For a new project on ‘Reconceptualizing the right to housing from a personal and neighborhood perspective’ Cosmopolis Centre of Urban Research of Vrije Universiteit Brussel and OSA Urbanism & Architecture of KU Leuven are jointly recruiting two PhD researchers. Reconceptualizing the right to housing from a personal and neighborhood perspective. Public housing systems are under pressure due to the limited offer, declining social cohesion and increasing shifts towards private provision and middle-income target groups. In response to a permanent housing crisis and declining public housing systems, civil society, activist groups and housing movements are setting up new housing initiatives. We are interested to understand how the right to housing is guaranteed or reclaimed in the new bottom-up initiatives and in the public housing strategies that aim to provide affordable housing solutions. In deprived or low-income neighborhoods the spatial expression of the housing crisis becomes apparent in substandard housing conditions, affordable housing shortage and processes of social exclusion and gentrification. On the personal level, poor and insecure housing conditions produce residential alienation. Based on a mapping of affordable housing solutions and in-depth interviews with residents of these new initiatives and public housing projects in two neighborhoods in Brussels and Antwerp, we aim to contribute to a new theoretical understanding of the right to housing. By reconceptualizing the right to housing from a personal and neighborhood perspective, we contribute to a better understanding of the legitimacy of affordable housing solutions, whether they are public or bottom-up initiatives or combinations of both.

We offer two full-time PhD fellowships for 48 months starting inSeptember 2021under the joint supervision of profs. Ryckewaert, d’Auria and Aernouts.The PhD candidates will be hired at Cosmopolis VUB or OSA KU Leuven respectively, and will spendtheir research time in both research units. The candidates will enroll as PhD students at VUB and KU Leuven and will obtain a joint-PhD degree from both institutions.

For more information and how to apply, click here.