Council and Housing Association landlords are just as bad as private landlords and in some cases worse; that is the game-changing view of Shelter in its Living Homes Standards (LHS) report released today that you can access a full (pdf) copy here.
2 in every 3 ‘social’ housing properties FAIL the Living Home Standard
The social housing model has been sold to the public and government as being far more ‘social’ than private landlord provision in every area and – outside of stability or security of tenure – we have all been sold a lie by council and housing association landlords is the essence of this seminal report.
In terms of Affordability the LHS report says 48% of the PRS is not affordable yet 48% of council housing is not and 47% of housing association homes are not – so a hairs breadth between them.
In terms of Decent Conditions the Shelter report finds 29% of PRS is not ‘decent’ yet neither is 29% of council housing and 28% of HA homes.
In terms of Space (think bedroom tax for example) we find 16% of PRS homes are not big enough yet 22% of council housing and 23% of HA homes are not.
First impressions count it is said and this report is huge in terms of changing and shaping opinions and the report will resonate especially with social tenants who for so long have been told they are much better off than their private tenant counterparts.
This credible report destroys the simplistic public good private bad assertions we have fed for decades by (ahem) social landlords and is a wake-up call for council and housing association landlords – as in being woken up by having a sledgehammer to their sleepy heads!
The Living Home Standards report is and will be seminal (unlike so many housing reports of the past) and the coordinated media release is a triumph for Shelter. The credibility within social (sic) housing of its principal leader in Hilary Burkitt, the Head of Research at Shelter is high and rightly so.
Make no mistake this is a huge game-changing report.
The percentage of rented homes failing this Living Home Standard by tenure is staggering.
66% of housing association properties fail
68% of council properties fail
69% of private rented properties fail
The overall Living Home Standard does not set an absurdly high bar and quite the opposite its standards are very mundane and low in terms of what tenants want to call a home and as the above reveals 2 in every 3 rented properties across ALL tenures are not HOMES and merely bricks and mortar.
Hardly tenants demanding unreasonable factors and an overview of what a home is and means Shelter says comes across as eminently reasonable:
I could produce a detailed critique of the report yet few would read. The key issue is that this report has destroyed the mantra of social landlords who trade on their product being better than the private landlord and trot out as excuse for their own poor product and service.
First impressions count and perceptions do matter and this report will see council and especially housing association landlords seek to refute its findings and deny any debate on the huge number of issues that arise yet Pandora’s Box has been well and truly opened.
The deluded housing think that I have publicly criticised for years and especially in housing associations or Private Registered Providers (PRP) to give them their correct title has now come to the centre of the political stage with the Living Homes Standard report from Shelter.
The delusion that PRPs provide a better product and service than the private landlord is what the general public will now believe to be wholly false.
PRPs instead of promoting their strengths and advantages have been content to hide behind the maxim of we are better than the private landlord alternative (which they are) yet now they will be seen as being just as bad.
This PRP back them up to the hearse and let them (tenants) smell the flowers technique can no longer work as this seminal report exposes the many failings of the products and services of alleged social landlords that the report concludes are no better than the bogey man of the private landlord.
Two in every three social housing properties are not HOMES according to tenants or in housing-speak the very same customers who are always right!!
Note: The motives of Shelter and any other agendas can be questioned and investigated in this report and doubtless they will be. Yet the die has been cast and the first move advantage / first impression taken and made.
Only a pity that Shelter’s graphics are not better as this from the report reveals
Killer statistic yet extremely poorly presented