Find out options for renting or buying a home through a housing association.
Homes to rent
Housing associations rent houses and flats to people who are on low incomes or who are being rehoused following a homelessness application to the council.
Rents are subsidised. Depending on what type of housing association tenancy you are offered, you could pay rent of about 50% or 80% of local private rents.
In some areas, most or all social housing is run by housing associations. Many councils have transferred their entire housing stock to housing associations.
Housing association homes are in short supply, so it can be difficult to get one.
How to apply to rent a housing association home
To get a housing association home, you usually have to apply to your council's housing waiting list.
Some housing associations also keep their own waiting lists so ask the council for local housing association details.
Buying your housing association home
You may be able to buy the property you rent if you are a housing association tenant.
- housing association right to buy scheme – a new scheme from April 2016 that will probably offer substantial discounts
- the right to acquire – this scheme allows tenants to purchase their home at a discount
- shared ownership – Government-backed scheme allowing tenants to buy 25% to 100% of their home, usually on a shared ownership lease
Buying a housing association shared ownership home
Many housing associations provide shared ownership homes for sale. You don't have to already rent from the housing association to qualify.
Shared ownership homes are part owned by you and part owned by the housing association. You pay rent to the housing association on their share of the home.
You are liable for 100% of the repair costs of your home, even if you only own a small share of it.
Contact housing associations directly if you have questions about housing association homes, rent and management.
If you are not happy with a housing association's response or treatment, you can make a complaint using the complaints procedure.
Last updated 18 Dec 2015 | © Shelter