The Politics of Housing and New Property Ownership Regime in Iran
Looking at changing governance of urban land one decade after the 1979 revolution in Iran, this paper examines unleashed speculative activities in the real state market supported by the 1990 urban reform in Tehran. My focus is on major legal changes in land ownership, property rights and land use regulating practices and their dramatic effects on urban inequality and polarization of households’ assets. Comparing the impacts of intensification policy (irregular extra construction permits for larger plots of land) on two different neighborhoods in Tehran, this paper suggests property rights matter most for wealth inequality, which tends to be more extreme and stable than income inequality. Intensification policy works against the very small landlords and tenants in Iran and condemned them to live in their old units till the building collapses. Tenants are the main losers of such policy.