Last edited 01 Nov 2020

Public v private sector housing

According to the UK government's Definitions of general housing terms, where the term ‘private sector’ is used in relation to housing policy, it generally refers to the private housing sector, or the non-social housing sector. That is, owner-occupied dwellings and those that are rented privately, including those that are provided with a job or business.

It does not include those owned by housing associations or public sector local authority dwellings.

However, government accounting published by the Office for National Statistics, treats housing associations as private sector even though they provide social housing.

In housing data, housing associations are generally separated out to identify the extent of social housing.

For house building starts and completions data, there is a possibility that some dwellings built for housing associations could be counted as private enterprise and vice versa. This is because the builders themselves may not be sure of the precise ownership or the ownership may keep evolving and is not final until it is sold.

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