housing

A range of outcomes may be produced or improved by changes or improvements made to dwellings, including higher resident ratings of the quality of their housing and higher levels of resident satisfaction.

People may also derive a number of psychosocial benefits from their dwelling, pertaining to control/privacy and status/reputation.

Key findings to date relating to this outcome are summarised below.

Housing improvements and health

The time taken for housing improvements to show health effects varies by type of housing improvement.

External fabric works (including insulation) had positive effects on physical and mental health. New ‘Secured by Design’ front doors had immediate, positive effects on mental health. New kitchens and bathrooms had a positive effect upon mental health. Central heating had no effect on mental health and a negative effect on physical health, which is surprising but supports other studies which have reported contradictory evidence.

For people living in deprived areas, gaining employment had a substantial impact on physical and mental health and therefore holistic approaches to regeneration are recommended which include social as well as physical regeneration. 

Source: Briefing Paper 24

Perception of choice and housing satisfaction

Among Outmovers from the Regeneration Areas, satisfaction with the home they had moved into was highest where the mover felt that they had had 'a lot' of choice about the type and size of home they moved into, and even more so if they felt they had had 'a lot' of choice about the fixtures and fittings within the home (which fewer of them did compared with choice about the home itself).

Source: Moving Out Moving On?, Chapter 4

Comparison of housing quality

Those people who moved out of the Regeneration Areas between 2006 and 2009 made important gains in dwelling quality (as reported by respondents) compared with their neighbours who remained living in Regeneration Areas over this period. The largest dwelling gains were in terms of external appearance of the dwelling/building, insulation, heating, and security of the home, all of which are important for health outcomes.

Source: Moving Out Moving On?, Chapter 5

Tenant satisfaction with landlords

At Wave 2 (2008), tenant satisfaction was higher among Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) tenants than among tenants of other Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), within our Non-Regeneration study areas. In particular, more GHA tenants than RSL tenants were 'very satisfied' both with the housing service they received from their landlord, and with how their landlord kept them informed about things that might affect them.

Source: Progress for People and Places, page 96

Housing improvement and psychosocial benefits

Housing improvement works were found to have indirect effects on psychosocial benefits from the home for social sector tenants, via their impacts upon ratings of dwelling quality. The largest impact of improvement works/dwelling quality upon feelings of control came from positive perceptions of home security. The largest impacts upon feelings of status came from positive perceptions of internal space, internal decoration and bathrooms (but not kitchens).

Between 2006 and 2008, there was a mixed picture in relation to psychosocial benefits from the home, with some items improving and others declining over time. The largest and most consistent improvements in psychosocial benefits occurred in the Wider Surrounding Areas. In Regeneration Areas feelings of safety and retreat at home increased, which we suspect was partly a function of safety-related home improvement works.

At baseline, both control-related and status-related psychosocial benefits from the home were highest in Housing Improvement Areas and significantly lower in Regeneration Areas than elsewhere.

Source: Briefing Paper 17Progress for People and Places, page 94 and The Regeneration Challenge in Transformation Areas, Table 47

Housing improvement works

At Wave 2, in 2008, over a third (36%) of respondents reported that improvement works had been carried out to their homes in the past two years. Residents in all types of study area experienced home improvements, with the lowest incidence being 26% of respondents in Red Road. The most commonly reported housing improvement works in Regeneration Areas was new doors and locks, while elsewhere the most common works were new bathrooms, kitchens and heating systems. Satisfaction with home improvement works was very high at 90% overall. 

Source: Progress for People and Places, pages 82 and 91 

Housing outcomes: high-rise flats compared with houses

In 2006, comparing like-with-like as far as possible across all our study areas, most housing outcomes (residents' rating of aspects of their homes) were typically two to three times more likely to be poor for occupants of high-rise flats (those in buildings of six or more storeys) compared with occupants of houses. Some housing outcomes were also worse in high-rise when compared with residents in other types of flat: this was true for security, internal and external condition, and internal space.                 

Source: Briefing Paper 11 and ‘Living the High Life’? Kearns et al. (2012) (external link)

Residents' satisfaction levels

Despite the findings on dwelling quality, the vast majority of residents in all types of study area were 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied' with their homes at baseline, though the level of satisfaction was lower in Regeneration Areas than elsewhere. We suggested that these high degrees of dwelling satisfaction may reflect low levels of expectation among residents.

Source: Community health and wellbeing survey baseline findings 2006, pages 12-13

Satisfaction comparisons between the areas

At the GoWell baseline in 2006, while most people rated various aspects of their homes as of good quality, sizeable proportions of respondents did not. Typically, in Regeneration Areas, 40-50% of respondents rated many aspects of their homes as of less than good quality, while 20-30% of people did so in Non-Regeneration Areas. This indicated the need for home improvement works across all study areas.

Source: The Regeneration Challenge in Transformation Areas, Table 42

The 'lived reality' of regeneration

Our qualitative study into the 'lived reality' of staying in an area undergoing major transformation and change, found that although some residents were relatively happy and experienced few problems, in the main, participants reported ongoing and serious problems with the physical condition of their homes alongside problems in the area. Many were positive about the prospect of relocation and hopeful for the opportunities this could bring for a better future for them and their families.

Source: Residents' lived realities of transformational regeneration