With the UK’s housing crisis showing little sign of abating, and the average cost of a home in London standing at almost 14.5 times the average London salary, there is no doubt that change is needed. Social landlords have the potential to act in tandem with central government, private developers and local authorities to help provide solutions to Britain’s chronic housing shortage. However, some believe that the sector has lost sight of its original, charitable mission in pursuit of growth and efficiency.
Now is the time for the sector to reconnect with its roots. Housing associations should build as many new homes as they can, and as much as possible should be for social housing. At the same time, though, the sector must focus on investment in existing homes and services, listen to residents and support communities. This discussion will look at the part that social landlords, central government and local authorities have to play in the future of the UK’s housing strategy, and will evaluate the ways in which the stigma of social housing can be combatted, changing people’s perceptions of the sector, and showing how it can act as an essential pillar in meeting Britain’s housing needs.