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The Impact of Direct Public Funding for Private Developers on Non-Profit Housing Networks in England: Exploring a Research Agenda


  • David Mullins
  • Bruce Walker


Reforms to the funding of new social housing in England in 2004 enabled private sector firms to compete with existing non-profit providers for grant. These reforms are at an early stage, but already around 4 per cent of new social housing is being constructed through direct funding of private developers. Expectations of increased efficiency were partially confirmed by the competitive bids accepted from private developers in the first bidding round 2008-11. However, the longer-term impacts of the co-existence of market and non-profit actors on motivations, behaviour, regulation and outcomes for the social housing sector in England require a broader analytical framework combining elements of organisational economics and network management. While the former can contribute to understanding of principal:agent contracting issues such as, transaction costs, moral hazard and adverse selection, the latter can inform longer term organisational and systems adjustments through covenanting, reframing, selective activation and network adjustment. The article proposes longer term research to determine the extent to which these reforms fundamentally change the nature of the agents and their interactions over time.

Suggested Citation

  • David Mullins & Bruce Walker, 2009. "The Impact of Direct Public Funding for Private Developers on Non-Profit Housing Networks in England: Exploring a Research Agenda," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 201-222.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:9:y:2009:i:2:p:201-222
    DOI: 10.1080/14616710902920306

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