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63% of social housing residents pessimistic about future of housing market

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According to a recent Resident Voice Index poll carried out by MRI Software, involving over 1,000 social housing residents, 63% are pessimistic about the general housing market availability and affordability over the next 12 months, with only 13% portraying a neutral outlook as election campaigning begins.

A deeper analysis shows that the lack of optimism is significantly weighted to the availability of social housing with 67% of respondents stating they do not feel optimistic about this aspect, and only 9% expressed a neutral sentiment. This downward trend was closely followed by housing affordability with 51% expressing their pessimism around the affordability aspect.

The findings from the poll likely reflect the broader socio-economic challenges, where residents continue to feel the pressures of rising living costs and limited housing availability. These concerns may well be heightened by a perceived lack of effective governmental action in addressing these critical issues.

Respondents emphasised that the government need to prioritise substantial improvements within the sector; the construction of more social housing, prioritisation of these homes, and ensuring they are affordable and accessible. Currently 152,000 homes have been completed each year over the last decade with the private sector averaging 123,000 however Labour revealed on 13th June its commitment to build 1.5m new homes over the next five years, with a priority on social rented homebuilding. The proposed 1.5 million new homes, if actioned successfully, could mark a significant shift in housing policy and provide much-needed relief to those currently struggling within the social housing system.

Following the live debate on 13th June, MRI Software relaunched the poll with the latest results showing an improvement towards a more neutral feeling around social housing availability from 9% to 13% however the affordability aspect declined from 17.5% to 13%. The general consensus around the social housing market and affordability improved ever so slightly with more people very optimistic about this aspect from 2% to 4.5%.

The sentiment expressed here highlights a growing concern about the sustainability and accessibility of housing in the near future. With the general election looming, housing policy is becoming a central issue, and the stark statistics from the poll underline the urgent need for reform. As the election campaigns gain momentum, housing strategy and its execution will likely be pivotal in shaping public opinion and electoral outcomes. While optimism is improving slowly, there is still a long way to go and action from the appointed party will speak volumes.

Deborah Matthews, Managing Director of Social Housing at MRI Software is available for briefings if you’d like to discuss the research findings in more detail and get a better idea of the current state of the social housing market. Deborah can also discuss what the new government needs to be aware of about this market and what measures are needed to improve it and ensure social housing residents get higher-quality and safer experience.