Posted on 11 September 2018
We have launched our ground-breaking report: The value of a social tenancy. The independent report has calculated that our social tenancies contribute at least £607m a year to the UK economy – that’s £16,906 per home.
This new independent research shows that good quality, well-managed social tenancies not only offer people a secure roof over their heads but save the taxpayer millions of pounds in areas including education, policing and local authority expenditure. We own or manage about 50,000 homes out of a total of 4.1 million social homes in England and Wales.
- Save the NHS £93m through such things as fewer GP and A&E visits; fewer falls for older residents; reduced childhood asthma; less drug and alcohol dependency and improved mental health
- Save local authorities £52m by reducing the need for temporary accommodation; helping older people live independently for longer and reducing the number of children on the Child Protection Register
- Save the DWP £14m through reductions in Universal Credit claims as people get back into work
- Save the education system £10m by helping more children attend school
- Add £172m to the economy through additional economic productivity and enabling people to get back into work
- Save the police and criminal justice system £55m through fewer call-outs and reduced costs relating to victims of crime
The report calculates that each of our tenancies generates at least £11,175 a year. Added to this is the economic benefit our house building programme, which contributes a further average of £4,586 per tenancy to the economy, with builders and suppliers spending in the local area. The economic impact of providing and maintaining social homes adds a further £1,145 for each Hyde tenancy. This brings the total social value per Hyde tenancy to at least £16,906.
The report analysed the cost to taxpayers of providing individuals and families with social housing compared to alternatives such as staying with families and friends or in allocated temporary accommodation. It assessed the impact of these options on crime, welfare benefits, creditors, education, the NHS, the economy and the fire service. For example, the Building Research Establishment (BRE) has estimated that substandard housing costs the NHS approximately £1.4 billion a year. Figures show that breathing conditions and heart problems are more common in poor housing, as is the likelihood of above average winter deaths.
According to government figures, there are 4.1m households in local authority or housing association homes, with a further 1.8m on waiting lists. Social housing is, unlike the private rental sector, subject to government regulation in terms of the quality of its homes, the rent charged and the way in which profits are used. Housing associations often offer better quality homes than the private sector. A survey in 2017 found that 28% of accommodation in the private rental sector failed to meet the Government’s Decent Homes Standard.
Furthermore, the report estimates that if social housing did not exist, 45% of Hyde tenants would end up relying on the goodwill of others for housing, 22% in temporary accommodation and 33% in low cost private rental.
Shana Pezaro from Brighton had her life transformed after Hyde provided her with a specially-built ground floor flat to accommodate her wheelchair. Shana, who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), was about to be made homeless when Hyde offered her an eleventh-hour lifeline. “When I found out the flat was available, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief that I was about to get a roof over my head,” she says. “As it began to sink in, I felt incredibly lucky. We’re so desperately in need of this type of accessible accommodation.”
Elaine Bailey, Chief Executive of the Hyde Group said: “I am delighted this study has confirmed what we already suspected: that social housing not only saves the country money, but has a positive impact on the economy and improves people’s life chances.
“The value that a home provides for both individuals and communities is what drives me and my housing association colleagues. Housing associations like Hyde improve life chances for everyone. Society as a whole benefits, as the burden on resources reduces and the economy grows through higher educational attainment and employment.
“The surplus we make through selling some of the homes we build on the open market helps us to build more affordable homes and increase the value of our work to society at large. But this value can be increased enormously with more investment from Government. Therefore, I call on the Government to continue the journey it has recently begun in reinvesting in social tenancies. This will give ordinary people the best chance to realise their full potential and maximise their contribution to society.”
Jim Clifford, OBE, of report authors BWB, commented, “The findings show that social tenancies deliver much more than roofs over heads. They create communities of support and the stability of situation from which people can change their lives. This delivers not just measurable savings in public service costs, but real economic improvement in the workplace, and in local area economic activity. Indeed the annual economic return on a single social tenancy, at over ten per cent of build cost, would arguably stand up well against many market investments.”