Guide to Housing Associations

What are housing associations?

Housing associations are non-profit making organisations that provide affordable housing to cater for a wide variety of housing needs. Housing associations are now known as registered housing providers and provide social housing in a very similar way to the Council.

They provide accommodation for single people, couples and families and some housing associations specialise in providing supported housing for specific groups of people, i.e. single people, the elderly or people with special needs.

The Council works closely with several housing associations to develop affordable housing for rent and other affordable tenures, for example shared ownership and intermediate rent.  For more information about these alternatives to social rented housing please see Affordable Housing.

There are a number of housing associations that manage properties for rent in Stevenage and the Council has nomination rights to many of these homes when they become empty, and when new homes are built. Eligible applicants on the housing register can bid under the choice based lettings scheme when properties become available and are advertised in the Home4U magazine.

Can housing association tenants transfer to a Council property?

Housing association tenants in Stevenage can apply to join the Council’s housing register for a transfer to a Council property in the same way as Council tenants. Applications are prioritised in the same way as Council tenants on the housing register.

What makes housing association tenancies different to Council tenancies?

Like the Council, housing associations provide homes which are affordable, permanent and secure. Housing association tenancies are called “assured tenancies” and they offer many of the same rights to tenants as Council secure tenancies, although housing association tenants do not have the Right to Buy.

Housing association tenants can apply to the Council for housing benefit to help with their rent in the same way that Council and private tenants can.

How do you become a housing association tenant?

Some housing associations operate their own waiting lists and accept direct applications for housing although they may occasionally close their waiting lists in order to keep waiting times manageable.  Although most Housing Associations with properties in Stevenage only accept nominations for re-housing from the Council, those that have sheltered housing in Stevenage usually have an open waiting list for this accommodation. 

When a housing association home becomes available for nomination it will be advertised in the choice based letting magazine Home4U in the same way as available Council homes.  Applicants can bid for the homes and the successful bidder will be nominated to the housing association.  The housing association then decides whether or not to accept the nomination – they may sometimes reject a nomination if the applicant does not meet the criteria of their own allocations scheme.

Currently housing associations own and manage around 2,000 rented homes in Stevenage.

Want to know more?

The Housing Associations in Stevenage page on this website gives information about each housing association that operates in Stevenage, the type of properties they have and the groups of people that they cater for. This information was correct at the time of writing, but please contact the individual housing associations for their most up-to-date information.


 

Useful links

Home4U

Related pages

Housing Associations in Stevenage

Housing information and advice

Affordable Housing - Home Buy

Council housing

Contact details

Housing Advice Service
Stevenage Borough Council
Daneshill House
Danestrete
Stevenage
Herts
SG1 1HN

01438 242242
housing.advice@stevenage.gov.uk

The Housing Advice Service is open on weekdays between:
8.45am and 5.15pm (4.45pm on Fridays)