Developing Social Housing Projects


    3 weeks


    6 November – 24 November 2017

Tuition fee




IHS application deadline

    6 October 2017**

Admissions information

    Requirements and application procedure

NFP information

    Procedure and deadlines

Abbreviation code

    DSHP 2017

Course information

    Charmae Nercua

Course coordinator

    Ellen Geurts

* Please note that for EU participants, the VAT of 21% will apply. The tuition fee stated above is excluding the VAT.

** If you require a visa, we advise you to apply at least one month before the IHS application deadline.

Apply now

Rationale of the training course

One of the characteristics of developing countries is fast growing cities and the lack of affordable and adequate housing. Social housing policies try to address the housing problem but have often been implemented in such ways that the people in real need are not reached and/or the social housing projects do not improve the overall living conditions of people or lack a contribution to sustainable urban development to their problems. Developing and therefore allowing for better implementation of social housing contributes directly to the living conditions and to the growth of cities in the developing world.

Course curriculum

The course will draw on the long-term experiences and experiments of social housing in the Netherlands and of other international best practices. It focuses on the crucial elements that make social housing projects work. Subjects included will be:

Module 1
Housing policy: The meaning of social housing will be explored from various perspectives. The role of social housing in the overall housing process and markets is discussed as well as social housing as part of housing policies. Several case studies are presented for different (social) housing policies and the subsidy mechanisms that support these policies. The social housing context in the Netherlands will be discussed in detail.
Module 2
Key considerations, whom to deliver for and where: This module will discuss housing needs assessments tools. Also it focuses on the type of organisations that provide social housing and the different tenure options that exist for social housing and the acquisition process of land for social housing projects
Module 3
Financing social housing and cooperation with public and private partners: The provision of incentives for social housing can include a range of financial measures, from grants to subsidies to tax incentives. Financing is discussed at both the programme/policy level and at project levels. Several case studies and financing organizations are included and the cooperation models between partners, such as PPPs is discussed/
Module 4
Technical and management aspects of social housing: sustainable housing from an environmental, social and economic perspective. Social affordable design requires adequate design, suitable housing products and adequate maintenance planning and management of the housing stock.



This course is primarily designed to build the capacity of social housing developers in both private and public sectors. Social housing is understood here as an affordable formal housing solution, delivered by private and/or public sectors. It targets housing and planning officials in national and local governments, housing professionals from housing-related institutions, the private sector, NGO sector, real estate developers and councilors involved in housing delivery. The professionals targeted are developers, architects, urban designers, building inspectors, (construction) engineers, policy makers and housing programme/project managers.


At the end of the course, participants will be able to successfully develop a social housing project proposal defining designs and plans, financial instruments, management structure and the institutional set-up. Many social housing projects do not reach low to middle income households, because they are unaffordable or the design and location is inappropriate. The development phase, where social housing policies are translated into action, is crucial in ensuring that social housing reaches low- to middle-income households.


The course draws on the long-term experiences and experiments of social housing in the Netherlands and of other international best practices. It focuses on the crucial elements that make social housing projects work. The course will be a blend of lectures, expert’s seminars, excursions/field visits and group exercises presenting international (best) practices and knowledge. The state-of-the-art knowledge and experience of social housing in the Netherlands is used in a case study of a Dutch social housing project which is the backbone to introducing all the complex aspects and actors. A series of workshops supports the skill development of participants to formulate their own plan or programme for the development of social housing in their own country.

The course provides a balance between theory and practice which is ensured by the different training methods, including guest lectures, interactions with social housing professionals in the Netherlands, exercises and meetings with relevant organizations.

How to apply

Interested in participating in this post-graduate diploma course? Make use of the IHS online application system. Find out more about the application procedure and admission requirements.


If you are still searching for a sponsor, have a look at our section on available funding opportunities.

If your question is related to the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP), please refer to this webpage before inquiring further.