Over the past 4 years I have both studied and worked in the wondrous world of social housing. It is a sector that is in equal parts frustrating, exciting and bewildering. Nearly half a decade on I am not really any closer to being able to succinctly define what the social housing sector is about. But for you folks, through a series of blog posts, I will try to do just that.
Social Housing – The Why?
The reason d’etre of social housing organisations is to provide subsidised housing to the poorer sections of society. As a consequence the sector houses higher numbers of the disabled, the work-less and marginalised.
Social Housing – The What?
Typically social housing organisations provide
- General Needs housing – if you are poor, you’re in
- Affordable Housing – if you are poor, you can’t afford it, if you are rich you don’t want it
- Intermediate Rent Housing – professional types unable to afford full private rent or save towards home ownership
- Private sales – same as any private property developer, build and sale boys!
- Sheltered accommodation – where you send Gran when you can’t be arsed to look after her anymore
- Supported accommodation – for the severely disabled
However the sector is increasingly diversifying the types of housing it offers. Many of the bigger organisations now offer everything from General Needs housing to Private Sales and Student Housing. Though the case of the ill-fated Cosmopolitan Housing Group highlights that may not always be a shrewd move.
The sector is ever changing and evolving and with the current plethora of welfare reforms hitting it is likely the sector will change further. Buckle down and sit tight kids, this ride is likely to get rough.
Hopefully that has given a very brief overview of what social housing provide, I will move onto what they exactly do beyond simply ‘giving’ houses to the undeserving poor in next week’s post.