Government housing survey reveals social renters are the most anxious

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22nd July 2021 10:03 - Housing

Government housing survey reveals social renters are the most anxious: An annual government housing survey has revealed that social renters reported feeling more anxious than any other tenure, also receiving the lowest well-being scores overall.

The English Housing Survey revealed that on a well-being scale of one to 10  (where 10 is equivalent to 'completely anxious'), social renters scored 3.2, compared with 2.9 for private renters and 2.5 for owner-occupiers.

Social renters also scored lowest on loneliness, with the survey finding they were more than twice as likely to feel 'often' or 'always' lonely (12%) than private renters (5%) and owners (4%).

When it comes to loneliness, the research found that people living in urban areas were more likely to feel lonely, than those living in rural locations. Looking at perceptions, urban-dwellers were also less likely to view their neighbourhood positively (82 - 87%) compared with their rural counterparts (93 - 95%).

Safety scores were also higher amongst those living in rural areas with 98-99% saying they feel safe when at home by themselves, compared to 93% of those in urban environments.

The 2019/20 research also found that nearly a quarter of people renting in social housing fell into arrears in the last year (up to the cut off of 31 March 2020), compared to 8% of private renters.

(This figure is likely to be higher in next year's survey when the full impact of the pandemic can be measured)

Younger renters (16 - 24 years) were the most likely group to fall into rent arrears (44%), followed by 25 - 34-year-olds (37%), however, three-quarters of social renters reported that they find it easy to make their rental costs (73%).

The survey also revealed an increase in homes being overcrowded, with this being highest in the social rented sector. In the 2019/20 data overcrowding rose from 8% to 9%, compared to a rise from 6% to 7% in the private rental sector. Furthermore, overcrowding was found to be much higher for ethnic minority households in the social rented sector (18%), compared to white households (7%).

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