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Tenants happier in social housing

Chief Executive Peter Marsh said high satisfaction levels could also help explain why tenants were staying in social housing longer.

"It’s encouraging to see that, overall, 81% of tenants are satisfied with their landlords, a small steady rise over the past ten years. This is most evident in satisfaction about the quality of homes and neighbourhoods, which reflects the significant investment in improving existing homes over the past decade. Four out of five tenants are also satisfied with services such as dealing with repairs and handling complaints.

“But there’s no room for complacency. One in five tenants feel that their landlord takes no notice of their views, and 18% of supported housing tenants – those who are vulnerable and need additional help – want to move because of poor services. We want landlords to have a greater focus on these issues.”

In other key findings:

• 92% of shared owners have not increased their share since purchasing their property, and 25% have been living in their home for at least ten years.
• More than a quarter (28%) of tenants with children aged over 18 still living at home expect their sons and daughters to move directly into social renting. Only six per cent of parents thought their child’s first independent home would be a private tenancy
• Most social renters (72%) want to stay in the sector for the next ten years. Only 16% would, if possible, switch to the private sector by purchasing their existing home under the Right to Buy scheme, buying a home on the open market or taking on a private tenancy
• 80% believe being a tenant of a housing association, local authority or an arm’s-length management organisation is better than owning your own home or renting from a private landlord.

Peter Marsh said further work was needed to explore the reasons behind shared owners choosing not to increase the share on their property.

“In the past, shared ownership has been seen as a stepping stone into full owner occupation, but our findings show there’s a lack of appetite for shared owners to increase the share of their home. We will later this week announce details about a new advisory group which will further explore the role of mutual and shared ownership housing.

“This survey – the largest of its kind – has provided us with invaluable information. The findings back up our National Conversation results earlier this year highlighting what really matters to tenants, helping us to better understand their views and aspirations. The findings will feed into the standards we’re developing for social housing landlords to further drive up the quality of services for tenants in the future."

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