Understanding the governance pattern between civil society and market actors in allocation, access to, and use of land for low-income housing is important in managing the informal settlement. In this study, the concept of “action space” is conceptualized as a means to analyze the interaction between civil society and market actors. This novel approach is then applied to a resettlement project in Nepal as a case study. The analysis revealed the mechanism by which the “action space” was created and the push and pull of the “action space” among actors that led to various types of legitimacy. The results show that due to a regulatory vacuum a gap between market legitimacy and social legitimacy was created, resulting in a failure to cater land for low-income housing. Analysis of governance patterns using the lens of “action space” offers an important perspective on how to minimize the gap between market legitimacy and social legitimacy.