M.G. Elsinga

Professor of Housing Institutions & Governance
Department of Management in the Built Environment

Marja Elsinga is professor of Housing Institutions & Governance at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. She is leading the chair of Housing Institutions & Governance, which is focusing on arrangements for housing that contribute to wellbeing of people in the Global North as well as the Global South. Adequate housing is about proper planning and design, energy efficient materials, processes and installations. To make adequate housing work; institutions and governance are of key importance. 

Her team focusses on how to make adequate housing work in different contexts and how countries can learn from each other. “I am supervising PhD-students from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Working with PhD-students is one of my favourite activities. These young people are full of new ideas and energy to find solutions for housing problems in their own country. I feel inspired by them.”

The world is urbanizing rapidly and this has huge consequences for housing: wellbeing of people is under pressure. Rising house prices are an important source of income for owners of residential real estate, for local governments by tax revenues and engine of growth for national economies. Moreover, speculating on even higher house prices, using the housing stock for airbnb and neglecting maintenance are ways to achieve even higher profits. Yet, housing is closely related to the wellbeing of people: adequate housing is of key importance for health, basic security and access to the labour markets in the Global North as well as the Global South. The current housing situation demonstrates an uncomfortable tension between housing as source of income for many and adequate housing as human right. With several initiatives the chair wants to respond to these societal issues.

Marja Elsinga has published widely on the topic of housing and welbeing and holds several editorial positions: associate editor-in-chief of the Encyclopaedia of Housing and Home, Associate Editor Europe of Housing & Society and member of advisory board of Housing Theory and Society. “Publishing and editing is the core of academic work. I try to find a balance between being active in academic and professional journals.” 

She is teacher on housing issues in bachelor and master education in TU Delft and is invited by many universities for guest lectures on the topic of housing. She has more than 25 years of experience in contract research for the European Commission, Dutch central and local governments, the Flemish Expertise Centre for Housing, housing associations and lenders. She also holds several positions in housing practice such as the board of the Network Conceptual Building and the expert council for assessment of Dutch housing associations. Moreover, she is regularly invited as (keynote) speaker at housing events across the world.

"Logics on adequate housing are so different in different parts of the world, it is so useful to learn from this!"

- M.G. Elsinga