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About us

We are a leading provider of housing across the Midlands, Greater London and the South East offering a range of housing solutions from affordable rent, independent living and shared ownership for those in need.

An award winning organisation with over 40 years experience, today we own over 14,000 homes and promise to continually deliver customer focused quality services to diverse communities on their doorstep.

If you’ve headed here because you’re interested in working with us, check out our Work for us section to apply and check out our latest vacancies.

  • Our purpose

    Providing homes, not just places to live

    • We are here to provide affordable homes and also to serve communities
  • Our vision

    To achieve a reputation for delivering great homes and great services

  • Our values

    See it from the customer's perspective

    • Embedding our quest for consistently excellent customer aervice
    • Keeping our focus on services that benefit our "housing cause"
    • Always applying a "would you spend your own money this way" test to our decisions 

    Serving diverse communities on their doorstep

    • Demonstrating a competence to provide culturally sensitive services
    • Making a strong virtue of being able to recognise disadvantage and do something about it
    • A national organisation but with a local presence
    • A service that is experienced on the customer’s doorstep not in remote offices

    Team asra ("one" team, individually responsible)

    • We are all here to serve the customer
    • At asra we are "one" team, not several teams or departments
    • We cooperate with colleagues and we take individual responsibility

Our geography

asra are based in Leicester, but have properties spread throughout the Midlands and Greater London

See some of our homes


Our history

asra has a long and rich heritage. We began as a Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) housing provider with an initial remit of providing homes and services for Asian older people. Many of the original BME housing associations no longer exist as independent organisations, but with over 14,000 homes. asra is the largest remaining BME housing association in the UK, making us very proud of our cultural roots.

Today we operate as a prominent provider of housing services across central and southern England. 

  • Humble beginnings (1965-1985)

    1965
    Family First is founded to provide housing and support for people in Nottinghamshire.

    1973
    Leicester Housing Association is founded.

    1974
    The Government introduces Housing Association Grant to subsidise a national expansion of social housing.

    1978
    Family First builds two hostels for people in need in Nottingham. Between 1978 and 2005, these hostels helped support more than 3,000 people.

    1979
    The asra Project (meaning shelter in Hindi and Urdu) started to respond to incidences of elderly Asians becoming homeless, living in isolated conditions and suffering from physical and verbal harassment. With the assistance of Leicester Housing Association, the project later became asra Midlands Housing Association.

    1984
    asra Greater London Housing Association formed with the primary aim to provide good quality affordable housing for Asian people in need. It was independent of asra Midlands although they had a common objective.

  • Rapid growth (1986-2003)

    1986
    The Government launches its first Black Minority Ethnic (BME) Housing Strategy. Over the following ten years it enables specialist housing associations like the the two asras to expand their supply of new homes.

    1987
    Leicester Housing Association acquires former British Coal housing in the pit villages of North Nottinghamshire.

    1988
    The Government permits housing associations to borrow private finance to allow a big national expansion of social housing. Family First receive a letter from the Prince of Wales saying how refreshing it was to meet “real people” following his visit to its Action Resource Centre, Nottingham.

    1989
    asra Greater London Housing Association owns over 400 homes spread over 10 London Boroughs.

    1991
    Leicester Housing Association becomes the managing agent for six housing co-operatives, an arrangement that continues today for the four remaining.

    1992
    asra Greater London Housing Association expands rapidly with Government grant supporting the development of over 140 new homes a year.

    1995
    asra Midlands achieves 900 homes in ownership or management. Accommodation includes sheltered housing, residential care homes, general needs family housing, and supported housing for women fleeing domestic violence, and people recovering from mental illness and learning disabilities.

    2000
    asra Greater London Housing Association pledges to continue its fight against racism in society, as well as inequalities and discrimination. It owns and manages over 1,600 homes and is operating over 22 London Boroughs.

    2003
    Family First has grown to provide nearly 400 homes, provides a successful furniture recycling business, and a service for people with mental health needs. Leicester Housing Association now owns and manages 8,000 homes in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire.

  • Getting together (2004 – present)

    2005
    asra Greater London Housing Association has grown to own and manage over 3,000 homes, and becomes a beacon for Black Minority Ethnic (BME) housing associations.

    2006
    Leicester Housing Association, asra Greater London Housing Association and Family First form LHA-ASRA Group, a provider owning and managing 11,000 homes in the East Midlands and Greater London.

    2012
    asra Midlands Housing Association merges with LHA-ASRA Group to form asra Housing Group, a provider comprising 14,000 homes spread over 63 local authorities in the Midlands and Greater London.

    2015
    Our award-winning property shop and my asra self-service portal launch, offering residents digital services 24/7.

    2016
    Talks begin to explore a potential merger with Paragon Community Housing. Camberwell Housing Society joins our group.

Respecting Difference Strategy

This document sets out asra’s three year strategic approach to equality, diversity and inclusion. asra is keen to be at the forefront of diversity and inclusion within the housing sector. Having researched a variety of assessment frameworks it has opted to sign up to the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Equality and Diversity Charter. Furthermore, it has assessed its performance on equality, diversity and inclusion, against the measures within the charter.

Read our Respecting Difference Strategy 

If you have any queries about the information on this page, or about asra Housing Group, please feel free to contact us at comms&marketing@asra.org.uk

Press enquiries

If you are a member of the media, please call our PR agency Creative Bridge on 01455 883 880. 

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