The zero option – tenant experiences from an experiment to renovate apartments without increasing rent
Journal article, 2020

To avoid “renoviction”, a public housing company in a stigmatized neighbourhood in Sweden (Hammarkullen) decided to renovate its rental apartments suffering from neglected maintenance using a “zero option” with regard to rent increase. The present article is based on content and thematic analysis of tenant interviews, documents and mass media articles. It describes the tenants’ views on this initiative and its consequences for them. The results show that they welcomed the “zero option”, but were dissatisfied with how it was designed. It did not live up to the maintenance responsibility for the entire apartment that, according to established practice, housing companies always have. It also did not solve the basic problems experienced by the tenants. They had their own ideas about how a “zero option” could have been designed to live up to their expectations. With an “action net” or “connective actions” approach, the housing company, in close collaboration with the tenants, could have succeeded in codesigning a “zero option” for renovation, with the potential to deal with environmental as well as social, economic, technical and other aspects.


action net


“zero option” in rent increase




connective actions


Jenny Stenberg

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Architectural theory and methods

Cogent Social Sciences

23311886 (eISSN)

Vol. 6 1 1848500

National Transdisciplinary Centre of Excellence for Integrated Sustainable Renovation (SIRen)

Formas (2013-1804), 2014-01-01 -- 2019-12-31.

Learning Lab Hammarkullen: Codesigning Renovation

Formas, 2014-01-01 -- 2018-12-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Other Social Sciences



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