What is the difference between Affordable Housing and Social Housing in 2020?


When it comes to the housing industry, the terms ‘affordable housing’ and social housing’ are frequently used in the same sentence. Naturally, this can cause some confusion when it comes to separating the two very different types of housing that both have very different qualifying criteria.

Here at Iceni Homes, our mission is to provide high quality, affordable housing across the UK so here’s our guide to distinguish between the two:

Social Housing

Social housing is a scheme derived to provide people in the UK with homes. It’s a cheaper renting alternative to privately rented housing and normally provides a long term tenancy. This gives occupiers the opportunity to ‘put down their roots’ and establish a family home.

There is qualifying criteria when allocating social housing. There are cases where people with the most serious needs are legally required to be given ‘reasonable preference’ when allocating social housing by councils. Following this, however, councils can decide who qualifies to go on the social housing waiting lists and the level of priority that they are entitled to.  

Social housing is a fantastic scheme that allows individuals with very little or no income to live in a stable and secure home that can be the foundation for a happy and fulfilling lifestyle.

Affordable Housing

In the most simplistic terms, affordable housing is defined by the government as any home, rented or owned, in which costs comprise less than 30% of the household monthly income.

For us here at Iceni Homes, it means constructing high quality, sustainable housing that can be acquired, maintained and enjoyed by individuals and families at less than market value.

Affordable housing, as a scheme, is rich with benefits. It allows families to upsize their homes and can help thousands of people move into their first home. It provides a stable solution to break the back of Britain’s housing crisis and get people that require it into a strong and stable home.

The affordable housing scheme also has various benefits beyond providing homes to thousands across the UK. It also boosts spending and employment in the surrounding economy, brings revenue into local governments and reduces the likelihood of foreclosure.

For more inspiration, take a look at our ‘Best Affordable Housing Solutions From Around The World‘ article.

Iceni Homes

Here at Iceni Homes, we have been the driving force behind an array of affordable housing projects across the East of England. We will continue to do our best to uniquely deliver expert housing solutions alongside our brilliant collaborative partners: Eastlight Community Homes and Hundred Houses.   

Take a look at some of the projects that we have carried out and are currently working on by checking out our Projects Page here.

Be sure to check out some of our related articles by clicking here that include ‘Making Affordable Housing Smart’