London's social housing tenants exposed
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
A new report has shed light onto the lives of 1,600 London social housing tenants.
The research found that the average tenant in the capital has been living at their address for seven years - and 80% agree that their neighbourhood feels like home.
Meanwhile, housing benefit administration was discovered to be the main reason for tenants falling behind on their rent. 60% have the right number of bedrooms according to the bedroom standard, with just 15% of those in receipt of full housing benefit with one or more extra bedrooms
Released today, the report on the Real London Lives research project by g15, a group of London’s largest housing associations, reveals the facts behind the one in 10 Londoners who live in their homes.
It is the first time such large-scale independent research into the lives of people living in housing association homes has been undertaken.
While 62% of young people would consider a London move, only 41% of those aged over 45 would consider such a move. This was amplified when considering the potential of a move outside of London - a minority of all respondents agreed that they would be “happy to live in another neighbourhood outside of London”.
Only 26% of couples with dependent children would be agreeable to moving outside of London.
Over half (55%) of all the g15 householders taking part in the survey were in work, with the majority working for at least 30 hours per week.
Only 8% worked for fewer than 16 hours per week.
The proportion of lone parents in work increased with the age of the youngest child with 57% of lone parents whose youngest child was older than 11 years old were working.
More than half of those in receipt of housing benefit who were behind with their rent said that the reason was due to problems with administration of the system.
Examples included delays and miscalculations in housing benefit following changes to the number of hours they were working, or following a change of job, losing a job or changes in household circumstances.
Mark Rogers, vice chair of g15, said: “This research is starting to paint a picture of the lives of one in 10 Londoners and demonstrate the important role they play in our communities and workplaces. It’s also helping us to really understand more about their challenges as we track their lives over the three years, so that we can work together to develop solutions for the long term sustainability of this vibrant and diverse city.”