Affordability of housing in Shanghai has deteriorated as house prices in rose 46.1%in 2015 and 2016. This paper examines housing policy changes in Shanghai since purchase restrictions were imposed to stop housing investment by non-local residents and affordable and social housing provision provided in quantity since 2010. It employs an analytical framework of imposed and induced institutional changes to examine the practices in the housing market that seek to compromise government controls and the responses from the Shanghai Municipal Government to achieve housing market stability. The paper also reviews the provision of affordable and social housing in Shanghai to improve housing conditions of low-income households and provide help to low-middle income households to step on the housing ladder. It concludes that the government lacks a long-term strategy to stabilise house prices and needs to improve management of its expanding affordable and social housing stock to reduce abuse by some beneficiaries.