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Graham Awards


Private renters enjoy more life satisfaction than social sector tenants

Social renters have the lowest life satisfaction and experience the greatest anxiety according to analysis by a property management firm. 

Lettings company Apropos has analysed the latest 2019-20 English Housing Survey which shows that social renters have the lowest levels of life satisfaction (71 per cent); are least likely to believe that life is worthwhile (74 per cent); and have the lowest levels of happiness (70 per cent) compared to all other housing groups. 

The survey also states that social renters also experience the highest degree of anxiety (32 per cent).


Of those in the private rented sector, 74 per cent were satisfied with life; 78 per cent felt that life was worthwhile; 73 per cent were happy; and 29 per cent experienced anxiety.

The most satisfied group were homeowners with 79 per cent satisfied with life; 81 per cent believing that life is worthwhile; 78 per cent were happy, while 25 per cent were anxious.

The EHS found that social renters face the highest levels of overcrowding with 8.7 per cent recorded in the latest survey which is an increase of over a third from 6.4 per cent over the last five years.

The survey found that social renting is the most static of the three main housing groups with 145,000 moves among the 4.0m in 2019-20 in the sector. Some 23,000 people moved from the social to the private rented sector with an undisclosed number (because the sample size is so small) moving into owner occupation.

The PRS had 703,000 moves in 2019-20 within its 4.4m renters with 131,000 new households; 192,000 buying a property; and 74,000 moving into social renting. 99,000 people moved from property owning into private renting.

Apropos joint chief executive David Alexander says: “This survey highlights just how much needs to be done to improve the home lives of many millions of people. 

“Given that this survey predates the Coronavirus pandemic it is a sad indictment that so many people in social housing should feel anxiety and have the lowest levels of happiness. Equally it is extraordinary that so many people should feel anxious in their homes when this is the place, they should feel safest.”

“The last year has simply confirmed that for all of us our homes are central to our wellbeing. Having a home where we feel safe, secure and happy is a prerequisite for all in society so to have so many people unhappy in their residence is something that needs to be addressed.”



Alexander continues: “The issue of increased overcrowding in the social renting sector is clearly concerning and I would urge government to address this immediately. The social housing sector is quite static in that once people are housed, they rarely move and there needs to be greater fluidity so that people feel they have options to move into the PRS or into buying a home at some point in the future. 

“The notion of entering social housing in your 20s and remaining there for the rest of your life does not seem sensible in the current housing market.”

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  • icon

    So..... better off people feel happier and more satisfied with their lot.

    Who would have ever imagined that would be the case!!!!


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