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This is a review of the written strategies of social landlords, local authorities and private landlords' written strategies exploring the focus on poverty within these documents. It has been produced as the second stage in a wider project exploring the role of poverty in housing organisations strategic and business plans.

The report explores the potential impact on poverty of:

  • rent setting
  • allocations
  • development
  • business planning
  • wider community work 

The findings from this stage in the research are based on analysis of written policy and strategy documents, which may differ from actions in practice.

While few social landlords issue documents specifically talking about their role in combating poverty, most remain keen to stress their wider social mission which included actions to tackle area deprivation and improve the housing and lives of low income people. However, there was no clear link between explicitly mentioning a goal of alleviating poverty and having detailed strategies to carry out activities which might reduce poverty.

This stage of the research has highlighted some crucial differences between social and private landlords. The private rented sector in all 15 of the case study areas is largely owned by small-scale landlords and managed by small-scale letting agencies, who have only very limited written documentation detailing their plans or strategies.

The next stage of research will explore the extent to which policies and strategies actually reflect practice, the drivers behind any change in strategies and future direction of travel. The final stage of this research, to be published in 2015, will enable us to explore further the relationship between strategy and practice by interviewing the staff of housing organisations, including landlords of all types.


Anna Clarke

Sam Morris

Publication Date

17th September 2014