Housing is a flash point in many European countries, with protests erupting and citizens voting to wrench properties from big investors. Inequality is driving the explosive debate, as households across the income distribution face very different kinds of challenges and opportunities in today’s unequal housing markets. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the risks and rewards already present across different subgroups. This housing-generated inequality creates a conundrum for governments that must balance the interests of competing constituencies with complex housing markets, and points to fundamental questions about how to order society.

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