Saturday, 28 March 2015

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.

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