Monday, 01 September 2014

Tenant empowerment raises happiness

Residents who own and manage their estates are happier than those living in council-run homes, new studies have concluded.

Two surveys of Waterton and Elgin Community Housing, which took over 640 homes from Westminster Council in 1992, reveal that its tenants are happier than when their homes were managed by the authority and their counterparts across the country.

In a survey of WECH tenants by professor Peter Ambrose of Brighton University, 88 per cent of respondents said they felt happy, settled and in charge under WECH, compared with 52 per cent when they were managed by Westminster.

The University of Stirling compared Mr Ambrose’s findings to national data, including census figures. This research showed that 84 per cent of WECH residents were satisfied compared with an average of 80 per cent for other landlords.

The WECH figures were also higher for facilities ratings and health and happiness, but lower for neighbourhood safety and trust.

‘The measurable benefits associated with empowerment through community ownership appear to mitigate the detriment to well-being caused by financial deprivation, physical illness and fear of crime’, the report concluded.

The Communities and Local Government department is expected to consult later this month on new regulations that would force councils to cooperate with tenant-led stock transfer proposals.

Readers' comments (7)

  • Chris

    I'd have thought that any tenant who escaped the murderous intent of the Tories of Westminster in the 90's would be happier - simply because they were still alive and had not been finished off by Lady Porter's policy of moving the poor into sub-standard and potentially lethal properties. Makes me wonder if she birthed Shapps in one form or another!

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  • It's great to see the tenants are happy and engaged with WECH. We at The Mill Group are a marketing communications agency for this sector and we understand the importance of collating research on tenants and ensuring feedback is gathered in the appropriate means, we tend to use a comments camper van for the housing sector. Great to hear WECH carrying out research and working with their tenants!

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  • Sidney Webb

    What a shame tenant led initiatives are not being supported by this government. Whilst the few shekels thrown into the pot for the fattening of Shapps' friends and contributers no tangeable support through a policy of cooperative frameworks is being restored.
    The outcome is richer consultants and poorer tenants with fewer relisable choices.

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  • Rick Campbell

    It's a bigger shame that it's not tenant-led regulation with proper and meaningful scrutiny.

    It perhaps likely that tenants would make the harder decisions more easily?

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  • These excellent results are also shown in 'Bringing Democracy Home' an independent research report from the Commission on Co-operative and Mutual Housing [www.ccmh.coop] and also by the Phase One findings from the TSA.

    Rick - re regulation, the Confederation of Co-operative Housing [www.cch.coop] have produced [with the TSA] an accreditation programme which can be used by tenants as a framework to comply with the regulatory standards

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  • Sexton

    university of stirling.... Now we are going to another galaxy

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  • Rick Campbell

    I have heard the attitudes of tenants who have ubdergone accreditation and I would like to think that these were the exception and not the rule.

    To a woman and man , they took the view that they, AND ONLY THEY, should be the involved tenants to be taken notice of and that everyone else was workshy and a drain on society (as opposed to being a drain on the welfare system) by being ill, vulnerable and/or retired.

    Accreditaion, if made compulsory, will, in some peoples' minds, be just another excuse for tenants to be told what to do by people who think they know better.

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