Housing Associations

With more Housing Associations classifying themselves as social enterprises, or looking to develop their own social enterprises, collaboration with the social enterprise sector is increasingly important.

According to the 2014 Home Truths report from the National Housing Federation, housing associations provide more than two and a half million homes for more than five million people in England.

One way in which housing associations can better engage with social enterprises is through direct procurement, and there are several housing associations that are already adjusting their procurement processes and making a concerted effort to encourage social enterprises to tender for contracts.



Published with Wates Group, the Chartered Institure of Housing and Orbit Group, Communities Count - the Four Steps to Unlocking Social Value, is the most comprehensive research report to date on social value and includes practical recommendations for organisations in all sectors.


The accompanying toolkit looks at how to put social practice at the heart of affordable housing procurement by providing housing professionals with a practical guide that will enable them to create lasting social value in their communities.


Whether it’s procuring a large construction project or finding a contractor to print the latest company newsletter, social value is woven through how Rhondda Housing Association operates.

The housing association – which owns 1550 properties across South Wales – worked with its communities to identify key issues that were important to them such as service affordability, providing opportunity and employment for others, and promoting health and wellbeing. Any contractor wishing to partner with Rhondda must demonstrate it can meet some, if not all, of these criteria.  This work has led to involvement in a far broader range of activities beyond housing such as employment and training, education, volunteering, community involvement, tenant and residents groups, community ecological gardens, work with the elderly and community events.

From a procurement perspective, social value is applied across the terms of all contracts regardless of size. Social value approaches include work placements, training opportunities, in-kind services and the donations of goods or money. Rhondda is also involved in supporting tenants who are social entrepreneurs. Indeed, one such tenant has recently received funding to attend basic computer classes in order to set up the Phoenix Initiative CIC – a social enterprise providing IT services to vulnerable groups across South Wales and the Valleys.


We have member packages especially for housing associations and the social enterprises they incubate. Click here to find out more.  

For more information give us a call on 020 3589 4958 to speak to our membership team or email membership@socialenterprise.org.uk


Consultancy - Looking for tailored support? We are able to provide business and communications support from our teams who have an in-depth understanding of the issues around social enterprise

Research - From social impact measurement to policy analysis SEUK has the expertise to carry out a wide range of research services.

For more information contact Charlie Wigglesworth on 020 3589 4952 or charlie.wigglesworth@socialenterprise.org.uk