Academic report reveals housing sector’s impact on tenant employment
A new report by the University of Salford has revealed the social housing sector’s significant impact on employment outcomes.
The ‘Housing Works: Assessing the Impact of Housing Association Employment Support’ report, by the Sustainable Housing & Urban Studies Unit (SHUSU), has revealed that housing associations are more likely to experience success in supporting tenants into full-time / part-time employment when investing up to £30 / £25 respectively into employment support services, for each household per year.
The report also reveals that job clubs and enterprise development were most commonly associated with increased employment outcomes.
The report highlights four key findings that will be of interest to the social housing sector:
- Housing associations provide significant and vital employment related support to tenants. Frequently these services are provided by housing associations in order to help meet and deliver organisational priorities, assist with welfare reform changes, and help meet tenant demand.
- There is a business case for housing associations to support tenants into employment, and into full-time employment, where relevant. Research shows the relationship between tenant employment and reduced rent arrears, with rent arrears decreasing as full-time employment rates increase.
- Investment in employment related support by housing associations positively affects employment levels. Investment in employment related support was found to have a positive impact on employment rates, with full-time and part-time employment rates increasing with investment of up to approximately £30 and £25 per housing unit per year, respectively.
- Housing associations are increasingly using external tools to measure the impact of their employment support, but there are widespread limitations on the use of existing tools. The level and quality of data collected on employment related support varied significantly, both at the organisational level and between individual services/programmes.
Speaking on the report launch, managing director of Give us a Chance, Lynsey Sweeney, said: “This report is a reminder of the importance of the work that housing providers do to help people into work. 88% of the social tenant respondents have said that employment had positive social and economic impacts. For these reasons, GUAC is dedicated to working with housing associations and a range of stakeholders to support social housing tenants into rewarding employment.”