Headlines: July 18th, 2002

Giving tenants a stake in their social housing could contribute to reducing financial exclusion and improving the status of the sector, according to research from the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr).’A Stake Worth Having: The potential for equity stakes in social housing’ examines the Labour party election manifesto promise to look into ‘ways in which tenants can be helped to gain an equity stake in the value of their home’.

It comes at a time when the UK housing market is rising out of the reach of some people, and when the option of building up a share in social housing or a tenant asset account could provide a simple way for many to have a stake in their homes.

The report recommends the best practice method of doing this is to have a framework policy which enables locally-based solutions rather than a prescriptive national scheme. Social landlords should be called upon to develop imaginative solutions which meet local needs.

The IPPR says actively encouraging more tenants to have a stake in their home has two key benefits – it offers an opportunity for people who are likely to be poor to build an asset, and it improves the social housing ‘brand’. The status and esteem of tenants and their homes would grow as they began to see themselves as consumers with choices – and to value their tenancy more highly.

The CIH says that locally developed equity stakes could help develop dynamic new relationships between social landlords, tenants and financial institutions.

‘A Stake Worth Having? The potential for equity stakes in social housing’ by Mark Lupton and Sue Regan is published by the Chartered Institute of Housing, price 12 pounds plus postage and packing. Contact 024 7685 1752 or pubs@cih.org