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Social housing

Social and environmental impact are at the top of our business agenda. At Browne Jacobson, we’ve always worked across business and society, and this expertise sets us apart. Active in the social housing sector since the 1990s, we’re proud of our heritage acting for housing providers across the country and our work helping to deliver much-needed affordable housing.  

Our clients are not only housing associations and registered providers, but also private developers, local authorities, health providers, private equity firms and government agencies such as Homes England. This cross-sector experience benefits all our clients, particularly in an era of increased partnering and joint ventures. We understand who our clients work with and can draw upon that knowledge and experience to find solutions which enable the smooth the delivery of projects. 

Many of our housing provider clients are longstanding relationships, and we’ve supported them as they’ve grown and evolved. Our clients include nearly 20% of the registered providers awarded Homes England ‘strategic partner’ status under the AHP 2021-2026 - those organisations alone are tasked with delivering more than 14,000 grant-funded new homes by March 2026. 

But it is not only about housing delivery. We support housing providers across a range of areas — joint ventures, securitisation, housing management, planning, environmental issues and employment advice.  

Our expertise

Oxford City

Council’s acquisition of 111 much-needed affordable homes as part of a development of 317 energy saving properties at Canalside, Oxford North, which is being delivered by The Hill Group. The deal is structured under a multi-phased land acquisition and development agreement.

Homes at Canalside have a strong emphasis on sustainability, going above and beyond Oxford City Council’s progressive environmental targets thanks to a range of low-carbon features – including air-source heat pumps, photovoltaic panels, and living green roofs. The development also boasts water consumption reduction measures, electric car charging points, and ample cycle storage.


Purchase of land at golden brick and related agreement for development of 60 dwellings in total, all affordable housing within a wider development, comprising single 'pepperpotted' houses and an entire apartment block including a commercial unit. This is important to keep up with the client’s growing affordable housing needs.

The ownership structure saw real complexity around the golden brick and SDLT treatment of the purchase, and given the overall site size of the new town of Northstowe (an ex-military barracks) estate management is complex. The client was delighted with the outcome and our input in navigating the complexities and clearly explaining them throughout, and the fact that we pragmatically worked through a solution when the deal was in a sensitive phase.

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