Find out more about the role of housing associations in regeneration.

In many areas of England the housing crisis is not one of supply but of low housing values, empty homes and poor quality environments. These areas are often characterised by economic disadvantage, lack of job opportunities, low incomes and low levels of skills. As housing providers, investors in communities, and major employers, housing associations have an important role to play in the regeneration of struggling places and supporting local economies.

Housing associations are experts in regeneration and shaping great places. A partnership approach is key, drawing in land, investment and expertise from a range of public and private partners alongside the active involvement of existing communities. The goal is to create mixed-tenure, desirable and successful communities. Regeneration that invests in people as well as places is more socially and economically sustainable.

Housing associations’ role in local growth

Housing associations already play a significant role in delivering the type of inclusive economic growth that is key to this vision – growth that enables the widest range of people and places to both contribute to and benefit from economic success:

  • Providing quality affordable housing in almost every town and city in the UK – as well as being vital for a well-functioning labour market, this housing provides jobs, investment and wider economic benefits to the local area.
  • Helping people into work through the provision of training, apprenticeships and support for social enterprise – a third of housing associations identify assisting people into work as a top priority for their organisation.
  • Housing associations are also major employers and have directly employed over 12,000 apprentices in the last three years, three times the rate of other employers nationwide.

As part of the Inclusive Growth Commission, the RSA, in partnership with the National Housing Federation, recently published its report The five ways that housing associations underpin inclusive growth and concluded that housing associations are a core element of the social infrastructure of local economies.

Case studies: creating a lasting legacy

Development projects at housing associations Sovereign and whg helped to regenerate local areas, deliver sustainable change and transform communities. Read more about how they achieved this.