- Their significant reliance on public funding.
- Their close working relationship with local authorities in the allocation of their stock.
- Their provision of subsidised housing should be properly regarded as a governmental activity.
- They act in the public interest.
- They are regulated by a Government agency in such a way as to promote governmental policy objectives.
- They have some functions of a public nature e.g. in relation to anti-social behaviour.
At least as interesting to me, however, is the link that the Housing Associations own trade body make to a 'separate, but allied, cause for concern': are they public bodies? Because, if they are, then their borrowing will count against public sector borrowing requirements - and their relative attractiveness compared to Councils as agents of housing development will lessen to governments of any colour. The NHF say:
"...it seems likely that carrying out a “function of a public nature” for the purposes of the Human Rights Act does not necessarily give rise to reclassification as a “public body”. However, it is stressed that classification as a “public body” does not depend on any single factor, but it based on the totality of an organisation’s relationship with the state. In this context a decision such as Weaver is certainly unhelpful even if not determinative in itself."But its getting closer by the day, you can feel it can't you?