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At a time like this, your council needs to be an ARCH member more than ever…


The Social Housing sector faces a number of significant challenges over the coming years and we believe strongly that there is a need for an organisation like ARCH that can represent the stock-retained sector and support its member councils in meeting those challenges.


The Social Housing White Paper set out a new Charter for Social Housing Residents and a range of measures to raise the standard of social housing backed by a series of significant regulatory changes and a new regulatory regime to enforce new consumer standards.


The measures outlined in the Social Housing White Paper will present a number of challenges as well as opportunities, and if we are to deliver social housing that we can all be proud of this will require the sector to come together and be supported by a representative body whose primary aim is to make the case for the future of council housing.




Council housing is at a crossroads, it stands on the cusp of becoming a vibrant, dynamic and growing sector for the first time in well over a generation. To achieve this, there are a number of challenges to be overcome, as well as opportunities to be gained, and this requires strong, effective leadership from a representative body.


Councils with housing have won the battle for self-financing and are making the most of the opportunities it presents; but there's always more to be done. 


The present & future


  • Performance management of councils with housing has improved markedly
  • Self-financing will place the sector on a more even financial footing with housing associations
  • Councils are at the heart of the government's localism agenda - empowering communities and tenants, making a growing contribution to regeneration, leveraging off strategic partnerships
  • The Homes and Communities Agency is actively engaging with councils both in their strategic housing role and as the deliverers of new homes (more than 40 councils are in receipt of social housing grant funding).


Councils with housing have distinctive interests, and need their own, independent, effective voice. Only ARCH can provide this. ARCH is the voice of the sector - we want to become more effective by bringing all eligible councils into membership. ARCH has emerged as an important conduit of sector views to government, and a trade body that is restoring confidence in the sector. Can your council afford not to be involved?


"Being members of ARCH keeps us up to date with the development of policy and practice in local authority housing. There is no other forum that enables us to do that. ARCH also champions the cause of council housing and represents our sector with the media, government, and other housing agencies. In a period where the role of council housing is increasingly important, we need ARCH to speak on our behalf, share best practice, and help us work better together."


Patrick Odling-Smee, Havering


What we've been involved in

ARCH has been instrumental in lobbying for the lifting of the Housing Revenue Account Borrowing Cap and recently introduced flexibilities in the use of receipts from Right to Buy sales. The Social Housing White Paper highlighted the Government's desire to see local authorities make the most of borrowing flexibilities and share experiences and good practice in housebuilding to build the next generation of council homes. ARCH is well placed to support our member councils to do that through our network of member councils and to hold the Government to its promise to support the building of more council homes.


Be part of our movement 


Your council (members, officers, tenants) needs to be part of our movement. You need to influence where ARCH goes, what it says and does, and come together with all other stock-retained councils to continue to position the sector where it ought to be. You can't do that from the outside.



Join us


  • ARCH currently represents the views of more than 60 stock-retained councils in England, and that figure is growing as more councils decide that now is the time to join.
  • We act as a collective, non-political voice for councils with housing, council housing officers and tenants -a voice that is increasingly being listened to and being asked for its views by government.
  • ARCH provides strong, effective support to members directly as a result of our partnership with CIH and HouseMark, along with the skills and expertise of our policy adviser Matthew Warburton.
  • ARCH presents councils with housing with an opportunity to act collectively and thus be more efficient and effective - for example, commissioning research or consultancy support together.



What's in it for you?




  • Free access to all ARCH policy briefings and updates, produced by our Policy Adviser Matthew Warburton with support of CIH policy team.
  • Free policy and good practice information via our Policy Adviser, as well as the resources of Housemark.
  • Free access to any dedicated research commissioned by ARCH that is purely for, and on behalf of, councils with housing.
  • The opportunity to influence ARCH policy on how we respond to the government's agenda.




  • A fortnightly ARCH Bulletin.
  • Free access to the member-only area of our modernised website.
  • Free access to ARCH Exchange, enabling senior housing staff to share knowledge and seek advice from colleagues in other member councils.



  • Annual AGM for all ARCH members featuring a discussion on a critical topic.
  • Invitation to the Stock Retained Councils' Chief Officer annual conference.
  • Free attendance to at least three seminars per year - topical speakers and networking opportunities.
  • Free support for tenants via the ARCH Tenants' Group (supported by Housemark)
  • Free attendance for your tenants (up to five per council) to the annual ARCH Tenants' Conference


Tenant participation 


  •  Free support for tenants via the ARCH Tenants' Group and the right to nominate a tenant representative for election to the Group.
  • Up to 5 free places for your council at the annual ARCH Tenants' Conference


How much? 


There are two membership fee options to choose from:

1. £2,500 per year plus VAT membership fee.

2. £2,250 per year plus VAT if you sign up for a three-year membership paid up front.


Can your council really afford not to join?


For membership enquiries and website access contact:

Julie Morton, ARCH Administrator -  024 7647 2711


For general enquiries contact:


Matthew Warburton, Policy Adviser - 07891 105906




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