Conceptualising Social Enterprise in Housing Organisations

Recent changes in the provision, funding and management of social housing in Europe have led to the emergence of new types of providers. While some of them can be portrayed with traditional ‘state’, ‘market’ or ‘civil society’ labels, many correspond to hybrid organisational forms, encompassing characteristics of all three in varying combinations. Nonetheless, evidence suggests that there is a ‘common thread’ linking these organisations together, namely their core missions and values, which can be classified using the term ‘social enterprise’. Despite the growing body of literature on social enterprise, this concept has been poorly defined and applied to the housing sector. This paper aims to address this gap through a critical literature review encompassing Europe and the United States. Existing models of social enterprise are reviewed and a classification system for social enterprise is developed to reflect the specific features of the social housing association sector and as framework for future research.

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Housing Studies
Europe, USA