Social Enterprise for Elderly Housing: Policy for Accountability and Public-Private Responsible Financing

  • Artie W. Ng
  • Tiffany C. H. Leung
  • A. Ka Tat Tsang


The ageing of societies around the world increases demand on service providers of elderly housing. Such organizations are meant to be both knowledge- and service-intensive, and considered socially responsible enterprises providing human services to care for the elderly, a vulnerable group in society. Nevertheless, there are concerns over their performance and adequacy of resources allocated for operations under a growingly ageing population. To deal with the potential moral hazard, a hybrid, responsible financing model for a social enterprise offering elderly housing would provide a more desirable structure than a purely private equity seeking profit or a non-profit setting that relies entirely on public funding. A conceptual framework is proposed to reveal the relevance of a governance system with a complementary performance measurement system to monitor performance of social enterprises in fulfilling their social responsibilities. This study further explores quality deficiencies in homes for the elderly within the case of postcolonial Hong Kong. It suggests relevance of this framework to accountability and quality performance of elderly housing as social enterprises. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, it argues that the policy makers need to emphasize accountability for performance enhanced by a governance system under a public-private responsible financing model aiming to safeguard the dignity of the elderly and social sustainability.


Elderly housing Social enterprise Accountability Public-private partnership Responsible financing 



The authors would like to acknowledge that an earlier version of this paper was presented at the Health Conference organized by College of Professional and Continuing Education (CPCE) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2016 and are grateful for the comments provided by the reviewers.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Professional Education and Executive Development, College of Professional and Continuing EducationThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloonHong Kong
  2. 2.Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social WorkUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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