Authors: Gregory Lomax
Fannie Mae Foundation
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This article describes the post-1988 Housing Act financing of social housing by independent housing associations, now the main vehicles for the development of new social housing in England. It discusses the political context limiting public funding of social housing; the current financial regime, which has attracted private finance into the social housing field but has also increased rents and thus revenue support for low-income tenants; the extent of the financial markets' involvement in the housing association market; and issues facing private and public funders alike. The conclusion cites the key social housing finance issues facing policy makers in England: how to widen private sector involvement by coaxing more lenders into the market, how to minimize benefit dependence in new developments, and how to create balanced, thriving communities that maximize political support for social housing projects.

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