How (un)affordable?, Belgrade


How (un)affordable?, Belgrade

Mismatches Location Price Functional adequacy Vulnerable groups
Policies and regulations Governance Data and monitoring Evaluation and impact Price control

Main objectives of the project

CMMM, a research project aimed at supporting civil society actors in fostering political transformation, employs critical mapping as a powerful tool to address housing affordability issues in Belgrade. Despite a high percentage of privately owned housing units, a significant portion of the population struggles to access affordable housing due to rising rents and inadequate government intervention. The interactive map, "How (un)affordable is housing in Belgrade?", provides insights into available housing units based on income and preferences, empowering the MoS movement to advocate for rent control legislation and highlighting the potential of data-driven activism in addressing societal challenges.


  • 2023: Implementation


  • CMMM
  • Ministry of Space


Continent: Europe
Country/Region: Belgrade, Republic of Serbia


CMMM, a practice-oriented research endeavor, was conceived to bolster civil society actors in their endeavors for equitable societies and cities through profound political transformation. Municipalist mobilizers, in their pursuit of altering power dynamics, constantly innovate instruments and mediums. The project prioritized critical mapping as it represents an "act of power," transcending mere theorization to present diverse perspectives on realities, fostering narrative and discourse shifts. Among our interactive maps focusing on housing in European cities, one spotlights Belgrade. Titled "How (un)affordable is housing in Belgrade?" this map aids visitors in grasping the magnitude of the housing issue. It draws from data scraping of housing rental and purchase offers in Belgrade, conducted by VI in May 2022 and again in March 2023. Designed for easy personalization and integration into social media campaigns, it serves as a tool for raising awareness on the topic.

Belgrade stands out for having a high percentage of privately owned housing units (over 95%), yet approximately 80% of its population struggles to access decent and affordable housing. Despite growing private investment in real estate, inadequate housing conditions and evictions due to tenant indebtedness are increasingly common, leaving many households without viable housing solutions. The prevailing approach to addressing housing needs is through the market, but rising rents outpace average incomes, limiting affordable options for most. The proliferation of short-lease rental units, facilitated by platforms like Airbnb, exacerbates the situation, pushing long-term renters into precarious positions with unregulated landlord relations. Over the past three decades, successive center and center-right governments have failed to address this reality or collect comprehensive data to understand the issue, let alone devise sustainable measures for improvement.

The Belgrade city team of CMMM, affiliated with the Ministry of Space (MoS) collective, has long been engaged in scrutinizing urban development dynamics and spatial injustices, with housing as a key focus. Their activities range from studying alternative affordable housing models to advocating for progressive housing solutions and participating in initiatives against forced evictions. Critical mapping, a ubiquitous tool in urban research and activism worldwide, has been integrated into their agenda, enabling the development of critical perspectives, research, and tools to challenge existing realities.

Through "How (un)affordable is housing in Belgrade?" individuals can compare available housing units based on their income and preferences, offering insights into affordability across different areas. This tool has been leveraged by the MoS movement to advocate for rent control legislation. Additionally, as part of the Belgrade project, CMMM has mapped the various stakeholders involved in proposed rent regulation and potential scenarios for its implementation. The approach taken by CMMM Belgrade exemplifies how data can empower social movements to mobilize for improvements in housing affordability, showcasing the potential for data-driven activism in addressing pressing societal issues.