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Report Housing assistance and policy Land use and development Social and affordable housing Governance and planning

Private sector involvement in social and affordable housing

Final Report No. 388

Date Published: 13 Oct 2022

Authors: Richard Benedict Nicole Gurran Catherine Gilbert Carrie Hamilton Steven Rowley Sha Liu

This research 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.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, around 3,000 social and affordable dwellings were being produced per year, against an estimated annual need of around 36,000 homes. To meet the forecast demand, it is clear ‘hybridity’ of the housing system is essential, whereby social and affordable housing is increasingly financed, developed and managed by a combination of government, community-based and market providers, and cross-sector partnerships; no one sector can address the need alone. 

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.

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DOI: 10.18408/ahuri7326901

Published by: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Limited

ISSN: 1834-7223

ISBN: 978-1-922498-55-7


Benedict, R., Gurran, N., Gilbert, C., Hamilton, C., Rowley, S. and Liu, S. (2022) Private sector involvement in social and affordable housing, AHURI Final Report No. 388, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Limited, Melbourne,, doi: 10.18408/ahuri7326901.

Benedict, Richard
Gurran, Nicole
Gilbert, Catherine
Hamilton, Carrie
Rowley, Steven
Liu, Sha