What are Housing Associations?


Housing Associations and Co-operatives are social landlords who build and rent houses for rent to people in housing need. Many are registered charities and all are run by voluntary Management Committees/Boards, many of whom are tenants of the Housing Association/Co-operative. Housing Associations/Co-operatives or Registered Social Landlords (RSL’s) are registered with The Scottish Housing Regulator who oversee the work of all Housing Associations/Co-operatives in Scotland.

How do I get a house with a Housing Association or Co-operative?

Each Housing Association or Co-operative operates their own system of allocating properties. Contact the Association/Co-operative of your choice and request a housing application form or use the document pages of this website to download an application. Each Housing Association/Co-operative has a different process and application form to fill in. Your form is assessed by the Housing Association/Co-operative using their own ’Allocations Policy'.

How do Housing Associations set their rents?

Housing association rents are set with three different issues in mind:

  • affordability - making sure that tenants on low incomes, but not on housing benefit can afford to pay our rents.
  • viability - that is ensuring there is enough money brought in by the rents to run the Association and improve its services to its tenants/sharing owners
  • comparability: looking at what other social landlords in the area charge.

We then have to look at whether a house is a newly built house, an older property, a house which has been improved, for example with a new kitchen.

The number of rooms a property has also increases the rent.

Look at Paying your Rent for each housing association for further information.

What is Wider Role?

All housing associations in Scotland are now required to do more than provide houses. We work with the local communities where we have properties to try to improve their lives, their environment or help them learn new skills or gain employment - whether or not they are tenants.

This can mean helping set up tenants groups or community action groups. It might mean helping bring in funding for a community project, such as an arts project or a youth project. Other help can be to provide staff time to work with local groups or providing buildings from which to run projects.

If you have a project that you think a Housing Association can help you with, use the contacts page on the website to get in touch.

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