Survey reveals that housing applicants will consider moving out-of-area if alternative option is presented

Thu, 03/18/2021 - 16:58

Our child organisation Homefinder UK, which helps councils prevent and relieve homelessness through its national mobility scheme, has today released a unique survey report on the experiences of their movers. 

The survey of 129 Homefinder UK movers has found that those in need of social housing are willing to broaden their areas of choice if that option is presented to them within the first year of joining a housing list. The new report examines the outcomes for those who chose to move out-of-area or long distance in order to obtain secure social housing. 

The report Moving on: the reasons and outcomes provides valuable qualitative and quantitative data which undermines some of the negative assumptions about moving out-of-area. It is shown that in certain cases, relocating long distance is a valid route to a better and more stable life.  

  KEY FINDINGS include: 

•    How does length of stay in Temporary Accommodation affect decision to move out-of-area? 
•    Most common reasons for considering moving out-of-area including demographics and background 
•    How do the applicants settle in their new area and what kind of life changes do they experience? 
•    The time it took for applicants to be rehoused once they decided to move out of their area 
•    And much more!  

Is there a need for national housing migration within social housing?

Councils across the UK, particularly in London, have been increasingly challenged by the growing need for social housing and the dwindling housing stock available. The number of households in temporary accommodation has been rising since December 2011 with the Coronavirus pandemic causing a sharp surge in demand for social housing . In June 2020, 98,300 households were in temporary accommodation with 64% accommodated by London local authorities. Government data showed that in 2019/20, councils spent £1.2bn on temporary accommodation, up 9% from the amount spent the previous year and up 55% from 2014/15. Our national mobility scheme helps councils prevent and relieve homelessness (whilst saving money on temporary accommodation costs) by connecting applicants with vacant social housing across the UK.

Steve Harriott, Chair of Home Connections and Chief Executive of Tenancy Deposit Scheme commented that: 

“Clearly the policy imperative is for more social housing to be built in the areas of highest demand to enable these people currently housed in unsuitable temporary accommodation to move into affordable social housing, a basic human right. But in the meantime, this survey shows that national mobility service Homefinder UK can play a significant role in improving the standard of living for those who are willing to relocate.”

Access the Moving on: reasons and outcomes survey white paper to find out more.

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