In partnership with Hyde Housing, Demos has embarked on a new research project aimed uncovering the real life experiences of social housing residents, with the aim of using their personal stories to inform both policymaking and the activities of Housing Associations in the UK. While there is considerable quantitative data exploring the life chances and views of those who live in social housing, much could still be learned from building up an in-depth picture of day-to-day life and individual aspirations. In the process of telling these stories, Demos hopes to draw lessons about the type of support and services which can best support residents to improve their quality of life and achieve their ambitions for the future.
Demos has a longstanding interest in the issues that are intimately bound up with the provision of social housing, such as social exclusion, public space and wellbeing, child poverty and structures of community governance. This research project builds upon earlier Demos' work Living Together, which investigated whether mixed tenure housing provided an increase in social capital for low-income residents.
Social housing policy has rapidly come to the forefront of government’s priorities. Facing a recession, which began, in part, with the housing sector, the government is being forced to confront a steadily increasing gap between demand for and supply of social housing.
To address these challenges and create new communities in a sustainable way, policymakers and housing associations must first understand the day-to-day experiences of those residents who already occupy social housing, as well as their aspirations for better lives, better homes and better neighbourhoods.
The research will culminate in a report published by Hyde Housing Association, with an anticipated publication date of September 2009.
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