Paper presented at the XXXIII IAHS World Congress on Housing, 27-30 September 2005,"Transforming Housing Environments through Design", University of Pretoria.
Given the variety of ways to define social housing, agreement on one single clear-cut definition is difficult. However, there is consensus that housing policies should take into account those households that cannot meet their housing needs unaided. Furthermore, social housing provision needs to be guided by certain criteria. Commonly, the housing provision involves many actors: public sector actors like national, provincial and local Governments; as well as private sector actors: developers, landowners, construction companies, building material companies, financial institutions, etc… Housing associations are key actors in fulfilling social housing. This study aims to define various schemes of action by housing associations in different countries worldwide. This identification can serve as an important instrument for developing appropriate policies for social housing and can also represent lessons for policy makers of the future. This paper discusses the housing associations in three different countries: the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Egypt. The Netherlands has been and still is one of the most dynamic and innovative countries in Europe with respect to social housing. In England, the housing association sector has assumed the central role in the delivery of new and restructured social housing over the past decade. In Egypt, the association housing system in Egypt is considered to be chaotic due to being characterized by corruption and profiteering. The methodology adopted in this research is based on reviewing the historical background of housing associations in the four selected countries, and key changes in housing associations sector structure will be highlighted as well. The paper will conclude by determining key items of success or failure of housing associations. Finally, the author develops a set of recommendations concerning the enhancement of the social housing association sector in Egypt.
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