In the name of “social mixing”: The privatization of public housing to non-governmental organizations

Yael Shmaryahu-Yeshurun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper explores the invocation of “social mixing” to camouflage the reduction of public housing through state-led gentrification processes. I focus on the use of social mixing in Israel to justify the privatization of public housing projects, transferring state assets to not-for-profit organizations. These organizations encourage middle-class families and students to relocate to disadvantaged neighborhoods. Exploring this practice reveals tensions between stakeholders regarding their perceptions of social mixing. Data for this study were drawn from interviews conducted with policymakers, NGO members, and public housing tenants, supplemented by analysis of press articles and policy and NGO documents. Findings highlight use of the social mixing discourse to contextualize benefits accrued via differential access to public housing stock. Such benefits are viewed specifically by long-term tenants as displacement and gentrification. This study further assesses the advantages and disadvantages of this policy, explicating the links between gentrification and social mixing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-360
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Urban Affairs
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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