To deal with the recession of the global economy since 2008, the financing of programs relating to strategic infrastructure and facility could provide a significant boost to a renewed growth. Despite this perspective, the conditions of public finances, especially in the EU countries, allow recourse to government intervention only in exceptional and temporary basis.

Owing to the limited availability of public funds, the further diffusion of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) appears to be a viable strategy to implement investment projects. Nevertheless, in the Italian context as in other parts of Europe, the PPP initiatives have been progressively slowed down, over the past few years, by unfavorable conditions emerged in capital markets.

The framework outlined so far is further complicated by the changing needs expressed by community. During the recent past, concessions and project finance have been extensively used to build and manage transport infrastructure and hospitals. Since the past few years new priorities are emerging, such as the refurbishment of social housing stock, the supply of new homes at prices or rents affordable for low income households, as well as the rehabilitation of public buildings intended for administrative offices or schools.

Aim of present research is to examine whether buildings energy efficiency measures positively affect the feasibility of social housing projects. This implies the need to investigate the extent of the savings on operating costs, achievable with interventions targeting the buildings energy efficiency, and the contribution they are able to provide to the viability of Public-Private cooperation projects, especially in the field of social housing. Therefore, a case study analysis is performed by comparing a number of ongoing experiences in major cities of northern Italy.

Empirical findings highlight structural changes concerning the partnership model. First of all, a new group of players emerges. Interventions are no longer promoted by construction companies or by facility management ones. The new stakeholders are bank foundations and real estate investment funds. Furthermore, public contribution's forms are reinventing themselves, with a reduced incidence on the investments. Within this framework, the achievement of high energy efficiency standards appears to be a relevant feasibility driver for interventions designed to satisfy social housing needs, particularly those to be implemented by means of PPP.