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

Acheson, Nicholas and Muir, Jenny (2011) Northern Ireland’s social housing partnerships: meeting housing need in difficult times. In: International Research Society for Public Management,, Dublin Ireland. IRSPM. 27 pp. [Conference contribution]

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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.

Item Type:Conference contribution (Paper)
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Criminology, Politics and Social Policy
Faculty of Social Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Social Work & Social Policy
Institute for Research in Social Sciences
ID Code:23533
Deposited By: Dr Nicholas Acheson
Deposited On:08 Oct 2012 10:01
Last Modified:08 Oct 2012 10:01

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