Housing is widely acknowledged as a human right and is one of the most important basic needs of people. At the same time it is also a commodity in capitalist society. Against this background, the thesis deals with the various structures and changes of housing policy in Europe over the last decades. In particular, it focuses on different housing privatization in the cities of Berlin, London, St. Petersburg and Amsterdam and assesses their socio-economic outcomes. At the beginning of this thesis an overview of several types and structures in housing policy is given. In this context, the promotion of home ownership as a central pillar of the neo-liberal reconstruction in the area of housing will be discussed in more detail. Furthermore, the national living systems of the considered cities will be presented in detail. Based on this, the privatization processes in the investigated cities are com-pared by different kind of procedures and forms and an evaluation according to economic, social and urban development criteria is given. For example, in London there was a concentration of socially disadvantaged groups in remaining stock of not privatized social housing. In St. Petersburg the privatization of social housing led to a displacement of low-income and deprived households. Furthermore, in Amsterdam the accessibility for rich households has become easier, whereas for poorer people it has become more difficult. This could be observed especially in the more attractive downtown areas. In Berlin a considerably rental increase could be observed in the last years, whereby primarily new tenants got affected. Moreover, the worsening situation of private housing stock due to non-resident property managements came under criticism. Assuming that housing policy aims the elimination of social and spatial disparities, the results of this thesis suggest that in order to attain these objectives financial support of the state sector will be required.