The Housing Situation of Lone-Mother Families: Austria and Finland in a Cross-National Perspective
This paper is concerned with lone-mother families in Austria and Finland during the 1990s with a special focus on housing. The main aim is to investigate how the housing situation and housing problems of lone mothers in these two countries are caused and influenced by the welfare, gender and housing systems. This perspective has been chosen in order to get a comprehensive understanding of lone mothers' living conditions and their position in the welfare state. Theoretical models of welfare and gender systems and theories on the gender aspect of housing will provide a framework for the presentation and interpretation of these results. After a short introduction on general aspects of lone mothers, welfare states and housing, the situation of lone mothers in Finland and Austria will be investigated. This starts with some basic characteristics and is followed by a focus on housing, identifying where differences between two- and one-parent families in housing can be found in the areas of quality, price and tenure. The following two sections will analyse the role of housing systems and policies on the one hand and welfare systems on the other hand in positioning lone mothers regarding housing, leading to conclusions which stress the interrelationship of these two spheres.