June 2024

The Governance of Affordable Housing Through Public-Private Partnerships: Critical Entanglements

Eoin Reeves (ed), University of Limerick, Ireland

Original Study by Patricia Canelas & Sonia Alves

Introduction

This paper aims to contribute to the debates about whether and how partnerships can help deliver social infrastructure, especially affordable housing.  Social infrastructure projects such as schools and health facilities tend to be smaller-scale projects compared to economic infrastructure such as transport and water infrastructure projects.  However, they are no less complex than contracts for larger scale projects.  Hence the governance of PPP projects is challenging and institutional governance is critical for the working of PPPs.

This study sets out three goals. First, to explore the reasoning behind the use of PPPs for affordable housing provision. Second, to explore the objectives of the various stakeholders involved, and third, to determine the timelines for those objectives. To explore these questions the paper conducts an in-depth case study of a PPP programme for affordable housing led by the Lisbon Municipality in Portugal.   The case-study analysis is framed by an in-depth discussion covering theoretical literature on urban governance, planning and housing.

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