Housing associations to be reclassified as part of the public sector

The Office for National Statistics has confirmed that Housing associations will join the public sector.

The decision was made in response to the government’s increasingly interventionist approach to the way housing associations are run.

Such an approach includes the chancellor George Osborne’s plans to reduce rents charged by housing associations by one per cent each year for the next four years and also the government’s extension of Right to Buy to housing associations.

In response to the announcement, Terrie Alafat, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), said: “This decision means that government finances will now have to be adjusted to incorporate the finances of 1,300 different, often charitable organisations. This could have significant implications both for the sector and for the government itself.”

She added: ‘But in making these changes it is important that the government creates a framework that still allows housing associations to meet housing need, respond to their tenants and meet their funders’ requirements as well as ensuring that historic public investment in the sector is protected."

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