The broad trajectory of housing policy since the 1980s has been to reject the paternalism and bureaucracy of traditional local authority landlords and to encourage voluntary sector housing providers. The rationale for these strategies has been to use a diversity of landlords (to create synergy and avoid monolithic structures) and to encourage a mix of tenures (to develop sustainable communities and avoid 'ghettoisation'). However, to date the practical management implications of such schemes have not been subject to detailed empirical research. Consequently, this article considers the application of
contemporary ideas about housing management in the UK within the context of a consortium development built in the early 1990s. Based upon an in-depth study of one of the first and largest housing association consortium schemes, the article critically considers the central management issues facing the different participants in the scheme. It illustrates how the management of the post 1988 housing association developments has brought considerable difficulties, which have been exacerbated within multi-landlord developments. In such cases the consequence has been to entrench problems of marginalisation and social exclusion. The conclusion identifies the problems that registered social landlords will need to address if they are to improve their management systems.