Housing People; Financing Housing recommends that housing associations should be set free to raise money through methods like equity investment. This so-called “equitisation” could raise £30 billion and build an extra 100,000 new homes a year. Using the housing association sector’s profits to raise money from organisations like pension funds would save taxpayers £5 billion in government grants, as well as helping solve Britain’s chronic housing shortages.
The report recommends associations should move towards social enterprise structures modelled on the successes of the Co-op, the John Lewis Partnership or BUPA. Under these mutual models, investors use flexible methods like buying preference stock - where interest gets paid only when the housing association is in profit.