This article examines mixed tenure as a policy orthodoxy. It first sets out how mixed tenure may be considered to constitute an orthodoxy within planning, being generally accepted as a theory and practice even in the absence of supporting evidence. Five elements of this orthodoxy are identified, relating to (1) housing and the environment, (2) social change, (3) economic impacts, (4) sustainable communities, (5) and sociospatial integration. Interviews with practitioners involved with three social housing estates that have experienced mixed-tenure policy interventions are reported to consider why the implementation and effects of mixed tenure might not correspond with the orthodox understanding. It is argued that policy ambiguity and weaknesses in policy theory and specification, alongside practical constraints, lie behind incomplete and counterproductive policy implementation, but a belief in pursuing the policy orthodoxy persists nevertheless.