The production of new affordable housing in the Syrian cities : the possible role of procurement processes in improving construction efficiency
Al Khalaf, Aseel
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Despite the Syrian government’s commitment to provide adequate and affordable housing, through housing programmes implemented over successive five-year development plans, there is still a shortage of affordable homes for low-income people. This shortfall can be attributed to constraints at two basic levels: housing system design (strategic level) and housing system implementation (operational level). Housing policies and construction practices systematically lack the proper strategies and sophisticated approaches for change. In contrast, the UK government has adopted strategic and operational mechanisms for enforcing change in publically-funded projects through a reform agenda (policy package) aimed at creating innovative collaborative relationships between client organisations, and private sector consortia. In this, the procurement processes were seen as a key driver to stimulate change for effective provision of affordable housing. This study aimed to investigate possible efficiency improvements in the affordable housing supply process in Syria, focusing on the role of more sophisticated approaches to project delivery, i.e. the procurement process. Data collected through a literature review and interviews with key informants from both the UK and Syria, forms the basis for a comparative assessment on how lessons learned from the UK experience can be applied in the Syrian context. This study advocates a holistic, top-down process involving the legal, cultural, technical and financial aspects of affordable housing supply and concludes that addressing the Syrian housing deficit requires modification of structural policies, principles and strategies of government intervention to foster collaboration between public and private sectors.