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What can help Hungarian local authorities to develop well-functioning social housing agencies?

Our project looked into the theoretical and practical aspects of how local authorities can set up and run social housing agencies effectively, thereby increasing the supply of affordable rental housing and alleviating the housing crisis that has been worsening for years.

The housing agency helps owners of currently unused (and typically privately owned) housing and prospective tenants (who cannot afford the market rent) to find each other and to conclude a contract on clear, acceptable terms that also serve the public interest. The model builds on two resources: trust in the municipality as a promoter of the public good, and an under-utilised housing stock. Its advantage is that it can be well combined with social services and can be extended in a variety of ways. The introduction of the social housing agency model, which is still in its infancy in Hungary, raises many practical issues (from the definition of target groups, rents, functions, and tasks to the composition of the housing stock and the choice of the appropriate institutional form) that decision-makers and civil servants should consider carefully before launching such an agency themselves.

In cooperation with the From Streets to Homes Association (ULE), we have produced a guide (in Hungarian) providing strategic and down-to-earth advice to municipalities on how to set up and run social housing agencies.  

Project details

BI has produced the handbook for local authorities on behalf and with the expertise of the From Streets to Homes Association. The development of the handbook was supported by World Habitat.

ClientFrom Streets to Homes Association
Project leader Ágota Scharle
Duration15/07/2021 - 30/10/2021
study Guide for local authorities on setting up a social housing agency