Northern Ireland’s social housing partnerships: meeting housing need in difficult times

Nicholas Acheson, Jenny Muir

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    Partnerships between government and third sector organisations, and among third sector organisations, to deliver key public services are well established in many states. But with the advent of more stringent public finances these structures are required to fulfil new tasks and find new ways of operating to protect frontline services while managing reduced budgets. The return of fully functioning devolution in Northern Ireland from May 2007 occurred just before the onset of the ‘credit crunch’ and a renewed focus on efficiency in public services. This scoping paper reviews the impact of the changing economic and governance contexts on two important aspects of Northern Ireland’s social housing provision: housing support services funded through the Supporting People programme; and the procurement of new social housing developments. Both include a complex mix of collaborative and contractual arrangements involving the public, private and voluntary/ third sectors. Through examining different forms of third sector partnerships and governance in these two elements of social housing in Northern Ireland, the paper reviews how policy-makers, funders and practitioners understand and actively engage with funding limitations in the face of unmet needs. New forms of institutional response are discussed, including whether and how these responses may impact on service outcomes. The paper assesses how the dynamics of public/ private/ third sector relationships are adapting to new circumstances, which in Northern Ireland include devolution of housing and social care policy and budget-making powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive. The implications of the case are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
    PublisherInternational Research Society for Public Management
    Number of pages27
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2011
    EventInternational Research Society for Public Management, - Dublin Ireland
    Duration: 13 Apr 2011 → …


    ConferenceInternational Research Society for Public Management,
    Period13/04/11 → …


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