In a changing economic and regulatory environment housing associations face considerable challenges but also have more freedom to redefine themselves as independent businesses.

This research, commissioned jointly by Affinity Sutton and Savills Housing Consultancy, considers what associations can learn from values led, non-profiting distributing organisations who are competing successfully with the private sector. 

The report stresses the need for housing associations to reinforce their independent identity and to intertwine their social values with their commercial approach. It also concludes that their values should be at the heart of their work and be the basis of a shared purpose, transmitted throughout the business. 

Mark Lupton is an independent housing policy analyst and Angela Lomax is a former director at Savills Housing Consultancy. 

Please note this research was conducted prior to Affinity Sutton merging with Circle Housing to create your new housing association Clarion Housing.

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