Despite an extremely uncertain environment and pressure on rents and costs, housing associations’ financial and operational performance remains robust.

The sector is responding to the call from the Government to invest in building new homes, delivering one quarter of all the houses built in England last year. They are committed to being responsible landlords and protecting the safety of residents, which has led to greater investment in fire safety measures and other risk mitigation techniques.

The Sector Scorecard is an initiative to benchmark housing associations' performance and assess value for money. It demonstrates the sector's accountability to its tenants and stakeholders, with measurements ranging from financial gearing ratios to customer satisfaction.

The Sector Scorecard 2019 is the only publicly available dataset that:

  • includes 304 housing association participants
  • is based across all of the United Kingdom
  • includes data from small landlords under £500k turnover to large landlords with over £800m
  • represents two million homes in total

Business health

Housing associations remain robust, secure organisations, with a median operating margin of 25.5% in 2018/19. This represents a two percentage point fall since the previous year, reflecting increased health and safety compliance costs, a slowdown in market sales, and the impact of the ongoing rent reduction on income in England.


Social housing development by the sector has continued at a steady pace in 2019. On average, developing housing associations delivered 16 new homes for every 1,000 homes they own. Development of homes for sale and rent on the open market remains part of the business plan for a significant minority of housing associations.

Outcomes delivered

Housing associations achieve high rates of satisfaction with their services. Typically, between eight and nine tenants out of ten are satisfied with the service provided by their housing association landlord, and for a third of housing associations the figure is higher than 90%.

Effective asset management

Housing associations are making effective use of their homes and investing in them. 99.5% of housing associations homes are occupied, and for every pound spent on planned maintenance, 65p is spent on responsive repairs.

Operating efficiencies

Housing associations spend £3,725 each year managing and maintaining each social housing property, which represents a 3% real terms increase in headline social housing cost per unit compared to the previous year. This reflects increasing investment in existing homes.


As a whole, no organisation or group of organisations consistently achieved upper quartile performance in all areas of the Scorecard, illustrating the diversity of the measures and of participants. Most recorded between one and three results in the top quartile, with the best achieving eight or nine results at this level.

Download the sector scorecard analysis report 2019

The provider level data is also available to download [Excel]