Learning from Vienna

Wetzel, Tom

Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX15368

The city housing program was the work of the Vienna social-democratic movement, based on the city's unions. At the end of World War I, Vienna had lost direct access to its markets in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. Because Austria now had to export to the world market, the Austrian unions faced a difficult task if they tried to raise wages to enable workers to afford high rents. Faced with becoming uncompetitive, Austrian employers would put up a stiff fight and some might go bankrupt. This led the social-democrats to develop a strategy for improving workers' standard of living by lowering rents.

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