Linking Social Housing and Foundational Economy: An Analysis of South Wales' Housing Associations

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The research explores the housing association sector using foundational economy theory. It aims to understand to what extent housing associations are driven and behave according to foundational economy principles, and to induct a theory explaining this relationship. Such a relationship has never been explored in the existing literature on social housing or foundational economy. Moreover, foundational economy concepts have never been formalised into a matrix to evaluate sectors' practices and motivations. The project aims to fill these research gaps. Twentytwo experts and senior members of staff from twelve housing associations and four public or umbrella bodies have been interviewed, collecting qualitative data on practices, drivers, and perceived enablers and barriers. Data has been analysed through a coding method to induct the following theory: HAs understand and behave accordingly to social franchise and chain-value principles, showcase a good balance between social return and commercial objectives, but have not fully understood the importance of a socially responsible financial system. The research's findings permit to include HA sector as a key element in the foundational economy's reform agenda, and to design a series of recommendations to promote the social housing sector.
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