Following large transfers of Social Housing stock from the Public Sector over the past twenty years, Housing Associations are now the major provider of social housing in the UK. The largest own thousands of houses but at the other end of the scale are very small organisations such as ancient Almshouse Charities, each owning a cottage or two and overseen by a part time Chairman or a Secretary.
The legal status and ownership of Housing Associations and Trusts is often complex. In some instances, a single management team may manage two or more Housing Associations which are distinct legal entities, for example one Charitable and one non-Charitable.
Housing Associations vary in the scope of their operations. The largest may cater for all types of tenants requiring public housing, whilst many of the smaller ones may cater for specific groups, for example, elderly residents of a certain parish or retired miners. The YMCAs and Foyers provide housing accommodation for single young people whilst the Abbeyfield Societies are voluntary bodies providing sheltered accommodation or nursing homes for the elderly.
How the data is organised:
Parent/Subsidiary Organisations - Housing Associations are regularly merging and renaming themselves. They are often managed in complex groups, with parent and subsidiaries organisations, some sharing their corporate management. Where there is a shared management team across a group, we list these contacts at the group organisation and not against each subsidiary, in order to avoid duplication.
Principal Contact - One person at each Association is identified as the "Chief Officer". In larger organisations this will normally be the Chief Executive or Director. In smaller Associations, it may be the Secretary or occasionally the Chairman, as requested by each organisation.
Job Functions - In addition to the Chief Officers we list a large number of other management posts. Due to the variety of job titles among Associations, we categorise by job function to identify responsibilities.
Units Owned/Managed - As well as recording the organisational structures, we also record the number of "units" each organisation owns/manages. "Units" can be anything from a detached house to a flat or a room or bed space in a nursing home or hostel.