It’s fair to say there was a mixed response from ‘UK housing’ in the immediate aftermath of the publication of the highly-anticipated white paper.
The language of what had been trailed as a ‘blueprint’ for the future of housing was certainly evocative: it was about fixing a broken market with ‘a bold, radical vision for housing in this country’.
Whether such a pledge fills you with confidence or not, the overriding sentiment is irrefutable: we must all work together to turn promises into bricks and mortar.
There were no real shocks in Sajid Javid’s blueprint - and that is most certainly something to embrace.
All the familiar ingredients are there in the document: building more, efficiency and affordability.
But while efforts to speed up delivery are welcome, it isn’t tweaks to existing policy that will make the difference.
It is clarity and certainty.
These are the things that the sector has been calling for since the summer budget 2015, so it is reassuring to hear they are finally being promised on rent policy - providing that housing associations and local authorities commit to building more homes in this Parliament.
As we hear from leading funders in the latest edition of Social Housing , it is encouraging that there is now an acknowledgement of the importance of this topic.
But somewhat ironically, much of what the government is calling for is already being evidenced on the ground, as can be seen in the reports that feature in most of the pages of Social Housing.
This is happening in different forms; partnerships, acquisition, merger, and harnessing financial capacity.
Ultimately, it will be the ability to do the latter that delivers the results the government is looking for.
As one of the most comprehensive and in depth published pieces of work, it demonstrates the huge upheaval brought about by recent accounting changes, and shines new light on how associations are faring.
But it also highlights how different businesses can look when you apply the same calculations.
The government’s white paper offers housing associations a ‘new deal’ in many respects.
But if this is to be a successful partnership, it still needs to recognise the diversity in the sector - and appreciate that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in areas like rent policy does not make the best of what housing associations have to offer.