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Housing associations

Mullins, David (2010) Housing associations. Working Paper. University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

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Abstract

Housing associations (HAs) could be regarded as the ‘distant uncle’ of the third sector in England. Their experience of 40 years of capacity building, struggles around combining public service delivery while preserving some independence and shifting from charity to social entrepreneurial models has considerable relevance for other third sector organisations. Their hybrid financial model places housing associations squarely between the state and the market. While the core activities of associations in constructing and managing affordable housing is a crucial contribution to society, greater attention is often given to their social investment and neighbourhood activities when considering their added value. While larger associations are sometimes seen as having grown away from third sector roots, the importance of generating a social as well as a financial return and the impact of successful neighbourhoods on their business results is generally recognised. Recent policy and regulation issues have included a legal challenge to the non-public status of housing associations, a major review of regulation and adjustments responding to the credit crisis and recession and most recently responding to the Coalition Government, including public expenditure reductions and the Big Society agenda. While the housing association field was, for 40 years, tightly structured around a single dedicated funding and regulatory body, the Housing Corporation, since 2008 it has had separate regulatory and funding bodies each of which relate to other social landlords as well. This looser field structure may have important implications for the future evolution and identity of housing associations. Further research on the sector could address the adaptation of the housing association sector to the new government, localism, neighbourhood focus and social investment impacts, mergers and alliances and responding to efficiency and accountability agendas.

Type of Work:Monograph (Working Paper)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Number of Pages:63
Department:Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC)
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Series/Collection Name:TSRC Working Paper Series
Keywords:Housing associations, credit crisis, hybridity, mergers & alliances, neighbourhoods, voluntarism.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Related URLs:
URLURL Type
http://www.tsrc.ac.ukOrganisation
Funders:Economic and Social Science Research Council, Office for Civil Society, Barrow Cadbury Trust
ID Code:800

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