Case studies

Safe as houses? The UK’s affordable housing crisis

Helping housing associations build the financial resilience to provide more affordable homes

There is an affordable housing crisis in the UK, with average house prices over five times’ income and as much as nine and a half times income in some areas of the country. Home ownership is out of the reach of many. A good quality, affordable rental market is also in short supply. During 2015, there were around 84,000 private tenants in rental arrears and over 81,000 households were classed as homeless and therefore living in temporary accommodation.

The National Housing Federation represents the work of housing associations and campaigns for better housing in the UK. Its members provide two and a half million homes for more than five million people and invest in a diverse range of community projects. Through our work with the National Housing Federation - led by our specialist tax teams - we have been identifying ways to help housing associations build financial resilience in the face of reductions in funding from Central and Local Government.

Over the past 12 months, we advised on restructuring plans to secure savings as well as protecting the ability to gift aid profits from commercial activities for future investment in social housing. We helped the members of National Housing Federation to implement innovative joint ventures to help secure private sector funding that can be invested in developing more affordable housing. Importantly, we have provided training for the housing associations on technical, financial and commercial terms, so they are better able to respond to changes in housing policy, legislation and reductions in capital funding.

Housing Associations in the UK provide affordable housing to over 5.7 million people, funding and building 50,000 new homes a year for both affordable rent and ownership. This represents a third of all new homes built in the UK. The work we have done with the National Housing Federation can go some way in both helping Housing Associations to manage the range of operational risks to its income and cost base and supporting the critical role they play in society.

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