Monarch examines the statistics now emerging from housing associations and the HCA concerning the lack of social housing and how the coronavirus pandemic may help to shed some light on where the UK is still falling behind in providing affordable homes to its citizens.
Duty to care
A crisis is brewing in London and further afield, however the pot wasn’t just set to boil this week, the water has been bubbling for decades, it just took a pandemic to remove the lid. The London Tenants Federation (LTF) has been following and warning governments about the gross discrepancy between the amount of social housing in the capital and how much is still desperately needed.
Social distancing measures were implemented back in March however in London alone 15% of social tenants live in overcrowded conditions while the figure for private renters is 12%.
This glaring lack of affordable housing, as a result of an absence of funding, means that many people can no longer effectively protect themselves from COVID-19, to say nothing of the effect that cramped conditions have on mental wellbeing.
The ramifications of this are obvious and well documented with the New Policy Institute finding that England’s five most crowded neighbourhoods experienced 70% coronavirus cases than in the least crowded five.
Additionally, there are still over 50,000 households living in temporary accommodation as well as 1,200 rough sleepers being threatened with the possibility of being sent back onto the streets once lockdown ends.
An English Housing Survey found that nearly 11% of social homes fell below minimum standards to be classified as “decent” and the number climbed to over 14% in the private sector.
Obviously the challenge we now face is complex and nuanced, however as responsible businesses, and as an industry, we hold a duty to be ever vigilant of our practices and perceptive of opportunities to improve the services we offer.
Monarch are dedicated to providing housing associations and social landlords with the expertise and support they need to utilise resources more effectively for the good of current and future tenants. Monarch’s solutions page contains detailed advice on how to engage with the services it offers.