Why is it good for everyone if local authorities run social housing agencies?


It is not only the owners of vacant apartments and prospective tenants (who cannot afford market prices) who benefit from such agencies; it is also a cost-effective addition to the toolbox of municipal housing support.

Why is it better to subsidise renting rather than ownership? Is it possible to capitalize the public trust in the municipality as a promoter of the public good? What makes a housing agency successful? Why is it worth it for owners of vacant private appartments? How risky is to launch it?  Is it first and foremost a way to alleviate homelessness?

These were some of the questions we sought to answer during a roundtable discussion organised jointly with the From Streets to Homes Association (ULE) on 1st December 2021. On this occasion, we presented a handbook (in Hungarian) recently produced by BI, which contains a plethora of strategic and practical advice helping municipalities set up and run social housing agencies.

The discussion also covered the experiences of the Budavár Housing Agency (launched in 2021 in the 1st district of Budapest) and questions on the topic could be addressed to the roundtable participants (Vera Kovács, Co-Chair of ULE, Márta V. Naszályi, Mayor of the 1st district of Budapest, Ágota Scharle and Balázs Váradi, senior researchers at BI).