General Article What is social housing?

Topic Selected: Housing
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Social housing provides affordable housing

A key function of social housing is to provide accommodation that is affordable to people on low incomes. Rents in the social housing sector are kept low through state subsidy. The social housing sector is currently governed by a strictly defined system of rent control to ensure that rents are kept affordable.

Social housing is allocated on the basis of need

Unlike the private rental sector, in which tenancies are offered according to the free choice of the landlord or existing household in question, social housing is allocated according to need.
Each social landlord operates an allocations policy, stating in advance what factors will be taken into account when deciding who gets preference for the limited amount of social housing on offer. These policies must include ‘reasonable preference criteria’ that are set out in law, but beyond this, allocations policies can be drawn up at the discretion of the social landlord.

Social housing is o...

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