The affordability of ‘affordable’ housing in England: conditionality and exclusion in a context of welfare reform

PREECE, Jenny, HICKMAN, Paul and PATTISON, Ben (2019). The affordability of ‘affordable’ housing in England: conditionality and exclusion in a context of welfare reform. Housing Studies.

Hickman-AffordabilityAffordableHousing(VoR).pdf - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB) | Preview
Official URL:
Open Access URL: (Published)
Link to published version::


Contemporary debates around affordability have largely focused on homeownership and private renting. This article considers the affordable social rented sector in England, in which reforms to social welfare assistance, reduced security of tenure, and a shift towards midmarket rents, are changing access to ‘affordable’ housing for those on the lowest incomes. Drawing on in-depth interviews with housing associations and stakeholders, the article highlights the increasing use of affordability assessments for prospective tenants. These assessments interact with mid-market rental products to increase the potential for exclusion from affordable housing on the grounds of ability to pay. This conditionality is applied not only at the point of tenancy access, but also at renewal of fixed-term tenancies. The research highlights that the combination of welfare and housing policies, in the context of a financialising housing association sector, has the potential to erode access to social housing for those who are perceived as a financial risk, reshaping the focus of social housing.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1205 Urban and Regional Planning; 1402 Applied Economics; 1604 Human Geography; Urban & Regional Planning
Identification Number:
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2019 09:53
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 03:35

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics