Does social housing affect social mobility?

Posted on 18 June 2012

Parliamentary Taskforce finds "there is no evidence that social housing per se, inhibits social mobility"

Rebecca Tunstall was one of a number of leading academics working in the field of social mobility and social housing to be interrogated by the Parliamentary Taskforce in their quest to discover:

  • to what extent does living in a home provided by a social landlord – a housing association or local authority – increase the likelihood of succeeding in terms of education and employment and getting on in the world? Or, on the contrary, does living in social housing lower aspirations and reduce life chances?
  • in what ways might social landlords make a positive contribution to increasing social mobility and enhancing the opportunities for the residents in their properties to have successful lives?

The findings overall showed that the fact of living in social housing was not a direct cause of social disadvantage, in spite of the strong correlation between the two experiences. Those in difficult circumstances were commonly allocated social housing, and continued to experience problems in this setting. A key factor in improving outcome was to avoid stigmatising the social housing sector by the use of mixed-income communities. Also fundamental to the success of social housing was the quality of the housing management service.

Read/download the full report at the link below.

Parliamentary Taskforce Report (PDF  , 284kb)