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What is a Housing Association?

WhatishousingWhat is a housing association?
There are many misconceptions about what a housing association is and does. A blurry line exists between councils and housing associations that can make it difficult to understand the difference. Whilst they are interlinked, a housing association operates separately as a not-for-profit organisation, and any surplus is either reinvested into existing properties and services, or used to develop more affordable homes. Often known as ‘social landlords’, homes are provided to those needing help with housing.

Who qualifies for social housing?
Anyone can apply for a housing association property. You don’t need to be on benefits, you can be working and earning. You can be single, in a couple or a family – housing associations help a wide range of people.

Some housing associations keep their own waiting lists, making it possible to register directly to access support with accommodation. Housing associations carry out their own checks to determine an applicant’s suitability and requirements.

Tip: If you are struggling to find suitable housing it is always worth contacting your local housing association direct. Accent Housing has a mailing list which provides the latest property listings via email, making it easy to find a suitable property.

What type of housing is available?
A housing association will have a variety of properties across their portfolio. From sheltered accommodation for the elderly, apartments and house shares through to family homes. By registering details with a housing association, you can be notified as soon as the right property becomes available.

How is it different to renting privately?
Housing associations offer lifetime tenancies, regular investment in your home and affordable rents. Housing associations are registered with and regulated by the Homes and Communities Agency which sets standards for how they operate. Individual entry assessments ascertain financial status, health and housing requirements to ensure people are matched to the right kind of homes and able to meet rent payments. Accent Housing can offer unique support to residents via the Tenancy Sustainability team, who are focused on helping people to live securely and comfortably.

Renting with a Housing Association

  • Lifetime tenancy (secure)
  • No bond payments
  • House exchange option
  • 24 Hour emergency repair callout service
  • Subsidised affordable rent
  • Resident support services

Renting with a Private Landlord

  • Variable rent terms (often insecure)
  • Bond payments usual
  • House exchange not usually available
  • Repairs dependent on landlord
  • Market rent
  • Support services not usually available

How to get started: Find a Home with Accent Housing