Housing associations are 'Registered Providers' they are not private landlords. They provide housing in a very similar way to us and are non-profit making. They are run by Committees, who are unpaid, and managed by paid professional housing officers.
People who rent a housing association property must meet their rules and conditions of tenancy.
Most associations are funded by the Homes and Communities Agency. The Homes and Communities Agency is a 'non departmental public body' sponsored by Communities and Local Government.
Housing associations offer 'assured tenancies' which offer security similar to a council tenancy. There is also a special Tenants Charter which protects tenants' rights.
In certain cases housing association tenants may be able to buy their home.