Towards Circular Social Housing: An Exploration of Practices, Barriers, and Enablers

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The concept of Circular Economy (CE) and its application in the built environment is an emerging research field. Scholars approach CE from various perspectives covering a wide range of topics from material innovation to city-scale application. However, there is little research on CE implementation in housing stock, particularly that which is managed or owned by the social housing organisations (SHOs) and which offers opportunities to generate circular flows of materials at the portfolio level. This research focuses on Dutch SHOs and uses the Delphi method to examine CE practices in their asset management, as well as the main barriers to and potential enablers of its uptake. The analysis of two iterative rounds of expert questioning indicates that Dutch SHOs are in the early experimental phase in CE implementation. From the results, it is evident that organisational, cultural, and financial barriers are the most pressing ones that hinder the wider adoption of CE in their asset management. Building on the panel input, this study suggests potential enablers to overcome these barriers, such as CE legislation, best practice case studies, commitment and support from the top management, and the creation of a clear business case.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2100
Number of pages24
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Barriers
  • Built environment
  • Circular Economy
  • Delphi method
  • Enablers
  • Prac-tices
  • Social housing


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