Headlines: September 23rd, 2009

The satisfaction of tenants in social housing is rising steadily and the majority are no longer attracted by home ownership. The latest survey from the Tenant Services Authority Housing, the social housing watchdog, reveals that housing association tenants are more satisfied with the quality of their homes, their neighbourhoods and their landlords than ten years ago.

The survey of more than 21,000 tenants in England revealed that only 12 per cent of social housing tenants want to go on to own their own home, down from 32 per cent a decade ago. This is a decline that could be linked to rising house prices which means for many tenants, home ownership is out of reach or just too risky. High satisfaction levels could also help explain why tenants were staying in social housing longer.

The survey also showed that 92 per cent of shared owners have not increased their share since purchasing their property, and 25 per cent have been living in their home for at least ten years.

When asked about the future, more than a quarter of tenants with children aged over 18 still living at home expect their sons and daughters to move directly into social renting. Only six per cent of parents thought their child’s first independent home would be a private tenancy.

More than 70 per cent of social renters want to stay in the sector for the next ten years. Only 16 per cent would, if possible, switch to the private sector by purchasing their existing home under the Right to Buy scheme, buying a home on the open market or taking on a private tenancy.

Some 80 per cent believe being a tenant of a housing association, local authority or an arm’s-length management organisation is better than owning your own home or renting from a private landlord.