The majority of Londoners who live in housing association homes go out to work and make a real contribution to society, according to the first research findings from Real London Lives
The Real London Lives project is designed to give a voice to the ordinary Londoners who live in housing association homes. It combines true stories with a new three-year research study by the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York.
The project has been created by the g15, the group of London’s largest housing associations which represents one in ten Londoners.
According to the research, while the majority of these people are working, many of them still struggle to make ends meet.
The top-line research findings include:
• The majority of Londoners of who live in housing association homes go out to work. Just 21% are unemployed
• Low incomes mean 60% of these households require housing benefit to pay all or part of the rent
• 25% of households find keeping up with bills a constant struggle. This rises to 43% for those who have seen their housing benefit reduce since April 2013.
Brendan Sarsfield, Chair of the g15 group of London’s largest housing associations which set up Real London Lives said: “We’ve started this project because there is so much debate in housing that’s not based in fact.
“We house one in ten Londoners. Our residents – our customers – are bus drivers, they work in the NHS, they work for the local council. They are just ordinary people trying to get on with their lives, look after their families and contribute to their communities. We want to get their stories out there so that the future housing debate is informed by fact and not fiction.”
This is the first time such large-scale, independent research into the lives of people living in housing association homes has been undertaken.
The Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York has designed the research and is carrying it out. The findings are based on their analysis of more than 1,640 in-depth interviews which represent the whole range of experiences of Londoners of working age who live in housing association homes.
This report is the start of a three-year study to track how these Londoners respond to the next few years of economic, welfare and public service change.
Dr Julie Rugg of the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York, who is leading the research team, said: “This research is a great opportunity to find out how people are really getting by in this period of austerity. Being able to follow people over three years will give us a much better understanding of impact these changing times have on people’s lives than any single snapshot survey.”