What is a housing association?

Housing associations are independent, not-for-profit companies set up to provide affordable homes for people in housing need. They vary in size from fewer than 10 homes, to more than 50,000. Altogether, housing associations provide about two million homes for five million people across England. Most of these homes are rented at affordable rates while a significant minority are sold through low-cost home ownership schemes. Some housing associations also offer support for people with a range of needs including older people, people with disabilities and learning difficulties, and people who have been homeless. In addition to housing, many housing associations are involved in community initiatives such as employment training, regeneration and projects with children and young people.

How can I rent a housing association property?

For more information please go to our renting a home page.

What are Registered Providers?

Housing associations are sometimes referred to as RPs (Registered Providers): organisations registered with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), a non-departmental public body which funds and regulates RPs.

How do I find out more about shared ownership?

Each area of England has a designated HomeBuy agent. This is a housing association that has been chosen to help prospective buyers through the process of buying an affordable home. They can give you information about whether you are eligible, what low-cost home ownership involves, and what properties are available in your area.

Find out more information about low-cost home ownership.

How do I set up a housing association?

For information about how to set up a housing association or a housing co-operative, please download the following documents:

How do I make a complaint about a housing association?

In all instances you should follow your housing association's complaints procedure. If you have exhausted that procedure and are still not satisfied you may take the complaint to the Independent Housing Ombudsman who will assess it and may decide to investigate. The Ombudsman's details are as follows:

Housing Ombudsman Service
81 Aldwych
London WC2B 4HN
020 7421 3800 or lo-call on 0845 7125973

Information about the service is available on the Housing Ombudsman Service website.

How does my organisation join the Federation?

To find out about joining the Federation, visit our Membership section.

How can I get in contact with Federation members?

The Federation has a Directory of members, which lists contact information for all member organisations, and is available to all members and subscribers. The online Directory features daily-updated data, searchable by area, size, organisation type, local authority and Google map.

To find out more about the Federation's local practitioner groups and other networking opportunities, contact your local office through our contact us section.

How can I enter the Community Impact Awards?

Find out more information about entering the Community Impact Awards, and previous winners.

How can I get involved in the Federation?

Each local area has a committee as well as various practitioner groups for a range of housing specialisms including, among others, development, finance, neighbourhood management, communications and board members. To find out more about groups in your area, please contact your local office.

We have a board of 12. We recruit for vacancies each year to the board and specify the key skills, competencies and diversity needed each year. Please see our website and Bulletin for recruitment details or contact Stephen Bull. Find out more about the Federation governance structure and how to get involved.

How do I become a housing association board member?

To find out more on becoming a housing association board member and see the latest list of vacancies go to our Get on Board section.