Let associations go private, says London Councils
Housing associations should be able to opt out of the social sector and become private companies, London Councils has urged.
The suggestion came in its response to the government's plans for the future of regulation. Housing associations should no longer have to be not-for-profit and those that already are should be allowed to drop the status, London Councils stated.
One of England's largest associations, Places for People, has discussed the implications of floating on the stock market with the Housing Corporation (Inside Housing, 26 January).
Converting to a profit-making company would allow a housing association to boost the number of homes it sells on the private market - profits from which are often used to subsidise affordable homes.
This move would have 'considerable implications for the dynamics' of housing associations, London Councils' response said.
Ian Fletcher, commercial and residential director at the British Property Federation, said it did not oppose changes which made it easier for housing associations to float.
The federation would be concerned if the move enabled associations to crosssubsidise its activities in social housing to compete in the market sector, he added.