Densification in social housing areas – what you should be aware of

Densification in social housing areas (a higher plot ratio than the existing) may create an opportunity for additional housing, and potentially a more varied social mix of residents. However, a housing organisation has to take into account a number of facts prior to initiating a densification project. We examine some of the most important issues in the following.  

With more and more people wanting to live in large cities, there is a growing demand for housing. It has resulted in significant increases in the prices of housing and building plots in and around large cities.

Social housing organisations own approx. 20% of the building stock with related open spaces, and many social housing areas have a large potential for densification that may be brought into play to meet the increasing demand for various housing types. 

As a consequence, the Danish Parliament, local authorities and the individual housing organisations have focussed increasingly on unexploited potential for densification in social housing areas. Several local authorities have a policy aim to increase the share of social housing but the high prices of building plots and building rights have rendered it difficult to build new social housing within the maximum amount allocated. 

Densification in practice

Densification may be achieved by

  • building private housing on available land (solitary building)
  • adding to existing buildings (infill)
  • converting attics for residential purposes (onfill)
  • demolishing existing buildings and erecting new and larger buildings.

Through densification with other housing types and housing forms such as owner-occupied housing, senior housing and co-housing schemes, utilisation of the densification potential in the social housing stock may contribute to create a mixed neighbourhood with various housing types and a varied social mix of residents. 

Prior to initiating a densification project, the housing association, the local authority and any private actors should thoroughly examine possibilities and barriers to densification in the specific housing area.  

**The full version of the article is not available in English.

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Do you want to know more?

Our Social Housing team are specialised in social housing legislation, and we have broad experience with development of transformation areas, sale of social housing, creation of boundaries and densification. 

We have thorough knowledge of the legislation relating to the social housing sector and in the daily operation of social housing organisations, and we advise social housing organisations and private actors on developing and investing in the social housing sector. 

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