A home for everyone now a top priority for people in Wales
Today CIH Cymru launches its Public Perceptions of Social Housing survey which asked the Welsh public for their opinions about social housing, homelessness and the public policy issues most important to them.
The report is the first piece of work completed through CIH Cymru’s Tyfu Tai Cymru project – a five-year policy project seeking to address gaps in evidence to inform current and future housing policy in Wales funded by the Oak Foundation.
CIH Cymru collaborated with YouGov who undertook the public polling work and Professor Roger Awan-Scully from the Wales Governance Centre, who completed the analysis of the data.
The poll reflected that:
• Housing and homelessness combined is one of the top five priorities for the public, ahead of other key services such as crime-prevention and education
• Three in five feel it is the government’s responsibility to provide a decent home for every citizen
• Over two-thirds of people living in social housing would be happy to see more built in their area
• Less than one in five people who live in social housing think it is of low quality
• There is recognition that a range of people should be eligible for help with their housing need – almost three-quarters felt the government should help people sleeping rough on the streets
Reflecting on the findings, Matthew Dicks, director at CIH Cymru, said: "It is really encouraging that the Welsh public have shown their support for addressing the housing crisis in Wales. Despite some of the negative stereotypes, people who live in social housing have a positive experience of their home and this is something the sector should celebrate. We think this shows the advancements in quality, and innovation to deliver homes at the cutting-edge of design and technology and the positive resonance with tenants
"At a time when we’re seeing increased spending on the NHS to meet demand there is an urgent need to re-address the balance of priorities and see the substantial gains to be made by increasing investment in social housing, which we know in-turn reduces pressure on health services and most importantly, helps people live independently. We need to see this shift happen now if we’re to realise the benefits.
"Whilst people generally see homeownership as desirable there must be a push towards increasing the recognition that we must develop a single cohesive “housing system”, where whether renting or buying, people feel they can access a safe, affordable high quality home.
"This survey marks the start of a really exciting time at CIH Cymru. Our Tyfu Tai Cymru project seeks to bring housing policy to life, gaining the views of experts from the housing sector, local communities and beyond. Engaging the public in this way lays the foundations for the work we’ll be doing going forward."
Catherine May, Tyfu Tai Cymru Manager added: "Tyfu Tai Cymru will be working with people throughout Wales to find solutions to some of the most pressing issues of the day. This survey of over 1000 people tells us of the widespread sympathy for people struggling to find a decent home and the need for an approach to health and housing that delivers a sustainable approach for current and future generations."
Professor Roger Awan-Scully from the Wales Governance Centre said: "This is very valuable new evidence about attitudes to social housing in Wales. The evidence has substantial credibility – it comes from a well-established source with a strong record for accuracy. The poll tells us lots of interesting things about what people in Wales think about social housing. For me, one of the most fascinating aspects of the findings is how they show that direct personal experience of social housing leads you to have much more positive attitudes towards it."