Whither social housing?

Should social housing be a hand up or a hand out?

Does it have to be one or the other? Or will it be a ix of the two?

The Government’s new approach is to introduce fixed term tenancies for social housing tenants, thinking, in their perhaps blinkered fashion, that once everyone gets a job they would be able to move into a new home. The reality, however, is different.

Using three different research strands, I helped Family Mosaic to produce a report called Changing Directions. This looks at the situation facing social housing tenants after five years, as well as investigating why current working tenants don’t choose to, or can’t, move on to the housing ladder. One of the first lessons is that, for many tenants, they are already at the top of the ladder. They don’t perceive home ownership to be an option for them, especially for people who live in London. And moving out of social housing into private rented accommodation is also nonsensical to them, both in terms of costs, but also because of the impact on their own lives, and those of their families.

As well as structuring the report, I also drafted it, edited it, designed it and put together the infographics (with, of course, direction from key people at Family Mosaic, and design advice from Andrew Kingham). The report has been generally well received.

And the debate about the future of social housing will, no doubt, continue.