Social Housing in England: Affordable vs ''Affordable''

England''s increasing housing affordability problem, widely described as a ''housing crisis'', has become a major public and political concern in recent years. The proportion of social housing has been shrinking for 40 years but there is no political appetite—at least under the current government—to reverse this. Policies are instead addressed at making some private housing more affordable and at increasing access to owner occupation by allowing more social tenants to buy their homes. The government has increased its control over the financial affairs of social landlords, who are responding by concentrating on those areas of activity where control is less stringent.


Please, login first to add a comment.

Fatima Zaheed (12.7.2017 18:40)

“Housing Associations by contrast are private bodies”. This view from a financial theory point of view is incorrect as Housing Associations have no equity capital (i.e ordinary share capital on which dividends are paid if there are profits arising in a year). Instead, HA’s are funded by Government/Local Authority grant (i.e. publicly funded interest free loans) and by Debt capital (loans provided by financial institutions and debt investors in the capital markets for a fixed rate of interest). Hence, they are effectively public funded bodies with debt capital and no equity investors.

A possible solution is a RESHC (Real Estate social housing company) – which could be incorporated within existing company law provisions but with 100% equity capital and no loan capital whose memorandum of association states that its main objective is to provide housing for social housing tenants in receipt of housing benefit. To persuade investors to invest in such a company – the returns should be adequate. This is discussed more fully in my response to C.Whitehead paper.

Document Type
Volume / Issue
4 / 1
Date of publication

Cite this article

Scanlon, K. 2017. ‘Social Housing in England: Affordable vs ''Affordable''.’ Critical Housing Analysis 4 (1): 21-30.