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Governing Independence and Expertise

The Business of Housing Associations

By: Morag McDermont
Media of Governing Independence and Expertise
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Published: 09-04-2010
Format: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 202
ISBN: 9781841139890
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £42.99
Online price : £30.09
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About Governing Independence and Expertise

Shortlisted for the SLSA-Hart Socio-Legal Book Prize 2011

Governing, Independence and Expertise tells the story of the not-for-profit housing sector in England, focusing on its representative body, the National Housing Federation. The story tells of how the Federation and associations influenced their own space of governing through deploying discourses of independence and expertise; how being governed, and governing, become, at times, one and the same.

The National Federation of Housing Societies was born in 1935 out of the apparent failure of housing societies, associations and charitable trusts to tackle the 'problem of the slums'. Its story was a familiar one - organisations have often set up collective structures to facilitate intervention in government. Viewed historically the success of the project is, nevertheless, remarkable, given that the housing association sector is now a major force in social housing provision. Moreover housing associations have pioneered many programmes which are central to our 'modernised' welfare state – such as private finance, independence and entrepreneurialism. Through the story of the Federation, the book examines the role of non-governmental actors in mechanisms of governing, engaging contemporary debates about public services and the nature of the 'social' - the limits of the role of the not-for-profit sector; the impact of private funders; and the disappearance of the notion of 'public'.

Table Of Contents

1 Housing, Governing and History
On Housing
On Governing
On History
The Rest of the Book
2 The Story of the National Housing Federation: An Overview
Beginnings: The Problem of the Slums
'A New Start': The Federation after the Second World War
Transformations 1: The 1960s, 1970s and 1980s
Transformations 2: Private Finance and Voluntary Transfer
3 Unacceptable Boundaries of Charity Regulation
Charity Law and the Housing Association Sector: A Historical Introduction
Housing Associations Challenged
The Housing Association Model and Third Sector Transformation
4 Governing Locally: Housing Associations and Local Government
The Technicalities of Governing Locally
Nomination Agreements: Contestation and Partnership
Stock Transfer; Coercive Practices and the Recurring Problematic of Nominations
5 Territorialising Regulation: Creating a National Regulatory Community
Regulatory Space, Regulatory Territory
Making the Housing Act 1974: Defining Territory
A New Territory of Regulation
6 Money
Structuring Relations through the Language of Finance
The Federation Intervenes
The Impact of the Housing Act 1988: Reshaping Housing Associations
Conclusion: Into the Future?
7 Shelter, the Federation and Social Movements
The Formation of Shelter
Challenging Homelessness: Housing Aid and the Homeless Persons Act 1977
Shelter and Housing Associations: A 'Movement' Moving Apart?
Conclusion: Some Reflections on Being a 'Movement'
8 'Independent Spirit'
Securing Independence
States of Dependence


“This is a major addition to the literature on the history of the English housing associations sector...It has pride of place on my bookshelf.” –  David Mullins, International Journal of Housing Policy Volume 12, Number 2

“...the book succeeds in moving the debate on and adding to discussion of the independence and incorporation of housing associations and can be used in conjunction with other texts that have a different focus, set a different context and use different evidence. This is a clearly presented and valuable addition to the literature and will certainly be used to build debate in the future.” –  Alan Murie, The Journal of Social Policy Volume 40/4

“...the book provides fascinating insights into critical episodes in the evolution of the housing association sector as we know it today... McDermont's theorisation of power relations is of wider interest for housing policy – and for social policy, more broadly. excellent text and undoubtedly essential reading for anyone interested in the history and evolution of UK housing policy.

” –  Hal Pawson, Housing Studies

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