Private sector involvement in social and affordable housing

This project investigates the potential for wider private sector involvement to increase the supply of social and affordable housing in Australia.

The research, undertaken by researchers from The University of Sydney and Curtin University, investigates models for engaging private sector investors and developers in financing or delivering social and affordable housing, across different market segments and tenures in Australia and internationally. It also identifies key existing and potential players, and financial, regulatory, or development barriers to wider participation.

This study highlighted that a range of established and emerging affordable housing product types can be supported through collaboration with private not-for-profit and for-profit partners. These strategies include public private partnerships, mixed tenure developments, tax subsidies for affordable supply, home ownership schemes, build-to-rent and inclusionary planning mechanisms. These depend on different combinations of government subsidy, policy settings, and regulation, and are suitable for delivery across a variety of different development contexts.

Key Points

• Increasingly, a combination of government, not-for-profit, and for-profit organisations are involved in financing, developing and managing specialist, social, and affordable housing. The private sector appetite for such partnerships has never been stronger, reflecting increased corporate governance and shareholder expectations for investments and projects that deliver social and environmental outcomes.

• Maximising these opportunities to increase new social and affordable housing supply through increased private involvement will require strong policy setting and regulation, efficient  procurement processes, and adequate and ongoing ‘gap’ subsidy from government, particularly to serve those in highest need.

Report Links

Private sector involvement in social and affordable housing research can be found here.