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With the Welfare Reform Act 2012 heralding the introduction of some of the most significant changes to the administration and distribution of benefits in recent times, the National Housing Federation has commissioned Ipsos MORI and Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research to assess how these changes impact across the housing association sector in England. 

The first component of the research programme is to establish baseline data and understand pre-emptive behaviour change before the reforms come into force. This will be a precursor to monitoring impact after April 2013, up to March 2014. 

This baseline report focuses on the initial perceptions of the impacts on landlords prior to the introduction of welfare reform changes. 

A further report concentrating on the perception of impacts on housing association tenants and featuring the results of in-depth interviews with landlords and tenants, will be published in the Spring. 

This report includes a profile of the housing association sector in England, covering information which will help to clarify which associations might be disproportionately affected by changes, and a summary of the potential impacts on housing association landlords from the available literature. The report then presents key findings of an online survey conducted by Ipsos MORI among Federation member housing associations to establish baseline data against which impacts can be monitored in the future.