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The English Housing Survey

Sarah Rothwell Blog: Sarah Rothwell

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) recently released data from the 2016-2017 English Housing Survey; a continuous national survey issued to householders at random.

The survey collects information about people’s housing circumstances, including the condition and energy efficiency of housing throughout England, so after taking a look we’ve summarised some of the key findings below.

Social housing composition and movement

Results revealed in 2016 there were an estimated 23.7 million dwellings in England including both occupied and vacant homes. The survey found that the 62% (14.8 million) were owner occupied homes and a further 20% (4.9 million) private rented.

With the exception of London, more households rented from housing associations than local authorities, with 10% (2.4 million) renting from housing associations and 7% (1.6 million) from local authorities in 2016-17.

Findings also highlighted that social renters settle for longer – having lived at their current address for an average of 11.3 years compared to only 3.9 years for private renters.

Housing quality

In 2016 only 13% of properties in the social rented sector didn’t meet the Decent Homes Standard compared to 20% of owner occupied homes and 27% of private sector properties.

However, the proportion of non-decent homes across all tenures declined steadily between 2006 and 2016, with numbers improving each year until 2014.

Energy efficiency

Results showed the social sector to be more energy efficient than the private sector (67 SAP rating: 61 SAP rating) due to wider use of wall insulation. The dwelling types also have a considerable impact as for example, flats generally retain heat better than houses.

Interestingly, the private rented sector had the lowest proportion of centrally heated homes at 84%. Housing association homes came in at 88%, with owner-occupied and local authority homes enjoying 95% each.

The survey also highlighted there has been an increase in the fitting of condensing boilers – rising from just 2% in 2001, to 63% in 2016. The boiler type is renowned for its efficiency and has been made mandatory for new and replacement boilers since the mid-2000s.

Financial circumstances among households

Lastly, in 2016-17, 59% (2.3 million households) of social renters received housing benefit to help with the payment of their rent and 25% of social renters (around 682,000 households) were either currently in arrears or had been in the last 12 months.

For further detail, click here to read the full English Housing Survey, Headline Report 2016-17.

Helping you to Make a Real Impact

Fusion21 provides a whole suite of procurement services and OJEU compliant frameworks suitable for the social housing and local authority sectors.  We’re here to help you deliver a variety of public sector work programmes while ensuring social value is being created in your community.

Click here to access more information on our construction, property and built environment procurement frameworks including Compliance & Facilities Management, Consultants, Heating and Planned Maintenance.

We also offer our specialist Retrofit framework  developed to support energy efficiency improvements on domestic and commercial properties including high rise refurbishment.   

To find out how we can help your organisation to make a real impact, contact us on 0845 308 2321 or email