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Ilia Farahani

Ilia Farahani

Doctoral student

Ilia Farahani

Iran's First Public Housing Program, What Went Wrong?


  • Ilia Farahani

Summary, in English

This paper investigates the institutional settings for Iran’s first public housing program called Mehr Housing Project, designed to provide housing for lowest 10% of the population. While the project was initiated to improve the housing options for the low-income families, the outcomes after 8 years beg to differ. The figures indicate that out of promised 1,400,000 units, only around 500,000 were built and new comers are mainly speculators, estate agents, some middle class families, and in some case smugglers and criminals. By utilizing a structuralist approach in the realm of political economy of space, the paper explores the politico-economic drivers behind the failure of the project. Thus, it goes beyond the conventional critiques of speculation, liquidity and public expenses and highlights the role of the state as a private owner and crisis in industrial sector (incl. low productivity), which has led to massive individual investments on construction incl. housing development.


  • Department of Human Geography

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper: abstract


  • Human Geography

Conference name

6th Nordic Geographers Meeting, 2015

Conference date

2015-06-15 - 2016-05-19

Conference place

Tallinn/ Tartu, Estonia