Supporting high quality sustainable growth in England

Housing Action Trusts


Six Housing Action Trusts (HATs) were set up under the provisions of the Housing Act 1988 to regenerate some of the most deprived local authority estates in England. HATs are Non-Departmental Public Bodies, each managed by a board appointed by the Deputy Prime Minister. The Boards included residents, elected as representatives of the estates, and members of the local authority.

The HATs’ main aim was to achieve a sustainable and long lasting improvement in the living conditions in their areas. They have four statutory objectives set out in Section 63(1) of the Housing Act 1988: to repair and improve their housing; to manage their housing effectively; to encourage diversity of tenure; and to improve the social, environmental and living conditions of their areas.

Current Status

HATs are short-life organisations, set up to achieve specific and finite objectives. Inevitably, some tasks remain to be completed, the majority being short-term: highway adoptions and sign-off of Section 106 obligations, for example, although in Waltham Forest those tasks included the requirement to demolish four tower blocks. In addition, the longer-term impact of each HAT’s activity in the local neighbourhood is monitored for a period after the HAT has closed.

English Partnerships is the residuary body for Housing Action Trusts and ensures that the outstanding work is completed in accordance with agreed programmes. We also consider the monitoring reports and aim to apply the lessons learned to our work in supporting communities.


Housing Action Trust Closure date
North Hull March 1999
Waltham Forest (East London) April 2002
Tower Hamlets (East London) June 2004
Castle Vale (Birmingham) March 2005
Liverpool September 2005
Stonebridge (Brent, London) August 2007