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Comparative Analysis of Non-Profit Housing Legal Frameworks in five countries

Austria, Brazil, England, Netherlands, and South Africa: Urban Legal Case Studies, Volume 12

Article image

Thalassa Cox

01 January 2023

Vicky Quinlan


uKESA Librarian 2

Case study

United Kingdom, South Africa, Netherlands, Brazil, Austria

This publication highlights the critical global issue of inadequate housing affecting over 1.8 billion people globally, with more than a billion living in informal settlements. UN-Habitat's 'Housing at the centre' initiative, launched in 2015, prioritises people and human rights in sustainable urban development policies, aiming to ensure inclusive housing solutions for all. Emphasising the need for a comprehensive framework for affordable housing, the report advocates for collaborative efforts across socio-economic backgrounds to foster safe communities, strong economies, and vibrant social environments, thus unlocking the transformative potential of this framework.

Furthermore, the document presents a comparative analysis of the non-profit housing sector in five countries, including Austria, Brazil, England, the Netherlands, and South Africa, showcasing exemplary legal frameworks for a robust and sustainable social housing sector. UN-Habitat's objective is to encourage the involvement of non-profit organisations in providing social housing, thereby addressing urban housing needs and narrowing the affordability gap. The publication not only provides guidance for countries to strengthen their legal frameworks to facilitate the participation of non-profit organisations in the housing sector but also proposes new governance frameworks to support this objective. It includes a country checklist to assist in assessing internal housing needs, existing policies, legal frameworks, and financial resources, serving as a systematic guide for legislative, policy, and institutional reforms in this area.


Abstract based directly on source.


Website References



Built environment



Economic conditions



Government programmes

Housing demand

Housing rights

Human settlements



Legislation and standards





Poverty & inequality


Service delivery

Social development

Social housing

South Africa


United Kingdom

Urban growth

Urban settlements

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