Land assets

Can housing associations afford affordable housing?

18 November 2015

This meeting took place on 19 November 2015. Read the transcript here.

Recent and proposed changes to how London builds the affordable homes it needs will affect how housing associations work:

  • An ‘Affordable Rent model’ was introduced by the Government in 2010, replacing the old system of directly funding housing associations to build social houses. Monitoring and funding allocations for the model are devolved to the Mayor of London.
  • Over the next few years, housing associations have agreed to help deliver the extension of Right to Buy to housing association tenants, but their revenues could be affected by changes to the rents they are allowed to charge to tenants.
  • The introduction of the Government’s ‘starter homes’ is also likely to mean housing associations will build more homes for sale than previously.

The Government says that it is giving housing associations more funding flexibility, keeping rents down for tenants and offering Londoners more routes to ownership. But critics claim this shift is undermining the social mission of housing associations, making them more commercial and leading to fewer genuinely affordable homes.

The London Assembly Housing Committee will tomorrow explore this changing role, and the Mayor’s delivery of the Affordable Rent model, with the following guests:

  • Neil Hadden, CEO, Genesis Housing Association
  • Brendan Sarsfield, CEO, Family Mosaic
  • Mark Gayfer, Finance Director, Octavia Housing
  • Rosalind Stevens, Member of the Octavia Housing Board
  • David Lunts, Executive Director - Housing and Land, Greater London Authority.


The meeting will take place tomorrow, Thursday 19 November from 2:00pm in Committee Room 5, City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).

Media and members of the public are invited to attend. The meeting can also be viewed via webcast.

Notes to editors

  1. Agenda Papers
  2. Tom Copley AM, Chair of the Housing Committee, is available for interview.  See contact details below.
  3. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.


For media enquiries, please contact Ash Singleton on 020 7983 5769.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer.  Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.