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Social landlord's survey reveals tenants' issues

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Social landlord's survey reveals tenants' issues

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities

50,000 third sector organisations have their say in national survey 50,000 third sector organisations have their say in national survey

One of England's biggest social landlords has revealed the results of a tenant survey that was designed to find out about the issues affecting residents' lives.

Published today in its summary report - ‘The Index 2013’ - Affinity Sutton says its findings offer key insights into the challenges tenants are facing.

The report reveals that:

  • Internet access amongst Affinity Sutton's tenants has increased from 69% in 2012 to 74% in 2013, still below the national figure of 83%.
  • 72% of those in receipt of benefits (other than pensions) were unaware of the introduction of universal credit in 2012. In 2013 the figure fell to 38%.
  • 43% of tenants used prepayment meters to pay for energy, the most expensive way to pay for energy, compared to 14% and 16% UK-wide for gas and electricity respectively.
  • In 2012 just 3% of residents had used a catalogue or weekly payment store but in 2013 this had increased to 13%.
  • In 2012, 36% of residents agreed that young people had a positive impact in their area and in 2013 this had risen to 41%.
  • People aged 55-64 are markedly more worried on a range of issues than other age groups.

In her foreword to the report, resident board member Pam Bardouille writes: “This survey helps us understand more about the bigger picture – how the external environment is affecting our residents and where we can most effectively target our resources in response.

“It’s gratifying to see where our efforts are paying off in comparison with the 2012 survey. Considerably more residents who are receiving benefits are aware of Universal Credit for example, and there’s an increased perception that young people have a positive impact in their local area…It’s also good that following our Get Connected digital inclusion campaign internet access among residents has increased but this is still below the national figure so there’s plenty of scope to build on this work.”

Affinity Sutton commissioned DJS Research Ltd to survey 1,000 random tenants over the telephone. In order to ensure the survey was inclusive, telephone calls were also made during evenings and weekends to capture results from in-work residents.

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