Divergence in planning for affordable housing: A comparative analysis of England and Portugal

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
88 Downloads (Pure)


Academic and political debates about the extent to which planning influences the volume, type, location and affordability of new housing have not gained as much prominence in Portugal as in England, where planning obligations are aimed at providing new affordable housing, as well as a mix of housing tenures. Yet, in England, the use of Section 106 in planning agreements to secure affordable housing as a proportion of new developments has received mixed reactions: at times considered a successful public value-capture tool while, at others, as a
neoliberal policy that is not generating the expected results.
The purpose of this research, which is based on literature reviews and semi-structured interviews with government advisors, local officials, and academics, is to investigate why and how planning for affordable housing has been used in England and not in Portugal. The data shows that divergence in the adoption of planning
obligations for affordable housing is the result of different but interdependent causes: path dependency (a concept which suggests that past events influence present and future ones), ideology (values, beliefs and a general political orientation regarding how society ought to be and how to improve it), and planning cultures
(collective social practices with their specific roots, legal traditions, ethos, etc.).
Original languageEnglish
Article number100536
JournalProgress in Planning
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Ideology
  • Path dependency
  • Planning cultures
  • Planning obligations
  • Affordable housing


Dive into the research topics of 'Divergence in planning for affordable housing: A comparative analysis of England and Portugal'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this