CIRIEC Working Paper: The system of limited-profit housing in Austria: cost-rents, revolving funds, and economic impacts
Limited-profit housing plays a significant role in Austria’s housing market. Around a quarter of all households live in homes owned or managed by a limited-profit housing association (LPHA). These associations are characterised by a distinct business model, based on the premise of cost-recovery and revolving funds. By deviating both from the logic of for-profit housing and from public housing, LPHA occupy a distinct Third Sector role in Austria’s housing market. This paper describes the key mechanisms and principles of limited-profit housing, including how they are financed, how rents are set, what components are included in price calculations and how they use revolving funds to finance future affordable housing construction. The paper also elaborates the impact of the limited-profit business model on rent levels and draws on a recent study to demonstrate their wider economic impacts.