Housing PFI
Produced in partnership with Alan Aisbett of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Housing PFI

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Alan Aisbett of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Housing PFI
  • Background
  • Local authority powers
  • HRA and non-HRA schemes
  • Contract structures
  • Funding
  • Guidance


Private finance initiatives (PFIs) have enabled local authorities to enter into contracts with the private sector for the provision of new and/or improved capital assets (infrastructure for example) and related services. Support has been provided by central government departments towards the cost of the capital element of PFI projects. December 2012 saw the closure of the PFI contracting programme and its replacement by a new approach to public private partnerships to be known as ‘PF2’. This note deals with PFI with limited reference to PF2 since housing has to date not been included within the types of projects approved under PF2.

In housing PFI schemes local housing authorities (LHAs) contract with a consortium of private sector firms to design, build, improve, finance, manage and maintain the social housing stock provided under the contractual arrangements. While management of the housing becomes the responsibility of the private sector contractor, the local authority continues to own the housing and retains its tenants. Designed and implemented PFI deals transfer risks from the public sector to the private sector, while securing and maintaining good value for money.

PFI in housing has been used for estate regeneration and housing refurbishment schemes:

  1. where other grants or funding would not have been sufficient to provide the high level of investment needed

  2. to make the radical changes to estates