Smaller housing associations

How the National Housing Federation (NHF) will support smaller housing associations in the best way possible to serve local communities and build the homes this country needs.

The NHF’s mission is to create an environment in which every single one of our members can thrive and deliver on their social purpose.

Smaller housing associations have always had – and will always have – an incredibly important role to play in our housing offer to the nation.

Our new offer to smaller housing associations sets out how the NHF will support smaller housing associations through more tailored resources, better networking opportunities, and a greater voice in our influencing work.

How we developed the offer

This offer is the result of extensive consultations with smaller housing associations. We worked closely with our National Smaller Housing Association Network, and surveyed all chief executives of housing associations with fewer than 1,000 units. The offer has been refreshed and enhanced in 2021, following further feedback from our smaller housing association members. 

We hope it will form the basis for how we work together, and how the NHF supports smaller housing associations in the best way possible to serve our local communities and build the homes this country needs.

What's in the offer?

Relevant resources

We will:

  • Ensure that our practical policy guides and briefings are relevant to smaller housing associations.
  • Commission guidance and support on key issues such as governance.
  • Tailor our content and communications more effectively to meet your needs and concerns.
  • Provide a single point of contact so you can reach us easily.

Accessible networks

We will:

  • Continue to address the cost barrier to accessing conferences by introducing discounts for smaller members for all of our conferences.
  • Respond to your time and resource constraints by committing to do more virtual conferencing and webinars.
  • Develop online networks that enable you to connect with your peers, including moving all our meetings online.

Get your voice heard

We will:

  • Always recognise your interests and issues that affect smaller housing associations in our influencing work at a national and local level.
  • Showcase your best practice and stories within and beyond the sector.
  • Actively seek your input for consultations via the National Smaller Housing Association Network, now open to all smaller housing association members, and webinars.
  • Address barriers to participation in our work.
  • Ensure that smaller housing associations are represented on all our national working groups, from building safety to welfare reform.
  • Facilitate access to politicians via roundtables and other appropriate forums.
  • Set up groups to work with smaller housing associations on the key challenges of building safety and decarbonisation.

Help you build

We will:

  • Continue working with smaller housing associations to access the resources you need to build more homes.
  • Explore the development potential of smaller housing associations so they can be recognised as important contributors to solving the housing crisis.
  • Engage with the government, Homes England and local authorities to make development programmes more accessible to smaller housing associations.
  • Explore with Homes England the potential for new ways of working with smaller housing associations.
  • Help you access expertise from, and broker development partnerships with, other housing associations.

Increase your recognition

We will:

  • Reinvigorate the National Smaller Housing Association Network – making it bigger, more diverse and more accessible.
  • Develop a common identity to improve recognition and communicate your common purpose.
  • Always encourage, promote and support smaller housing associations.

How to get involved

You can get involved in this work by joining our National Smaller Housing Association Network, which supports the NHF in developing and testing new policy ideas, engages smaller housing associations in our work, informs our responses to the government and other stakeholders and facilitates collaboration and information sharing between smaller housing association members.

The Network meets virtually and is chaired by Raife West, Chief Executive of Havant Housing Association. Get in touch to find out more about the group and how to join.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about our offer to smaller housing associations, or you’d like to find out how you can get involved, you can reach us through our dedicated contact point.

Who to speak to

Jo Allen, External Affairs Manager