This report from the Department of Work and Pensions found that sub-market rents and security of tenure represent a work incentive, but the social housing system is not run in a way that seeks to maximise this potential. There needs to be some motivation for social landlords to deliver employment support and the role that they might play needs to be defined.
The tax and benefits system should be reformed so that it is more easily understandable to social tenants and to demonstrate that the system ‘makes work pay’.
There should be a better integration of services with linked interventions targeted at residents in social housing. To ensure that agencies have credibility with local residents they need to pursue an enabling, rather than policing, role. They also need to recognize that some people need to tackle multiple challenges when considering entering work. These include problems with drug or alcohol or a criminal record, or undiagnosed physical ormental health problems. Social landlords have a role to play within local partnerships.
The report is available from DWP. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/rports2007-2008/rrep482.pdf