Housing associations ‘not doing enough to help unemployed tenants’

13 Jul 18

Housing associations should be doing more to help unemployed social renters back into work, a think-tank has said.

Creating a surge in employment amongst those living in social rent accommodation could save the taxpayer up to £3bn a year, according to the Centre for Social Justice.

CSJ said that in areas where housing associations help their tenants back into work, rent arrears fall by up to 75%.

Despite this, only 40% of housing associations offer help to tenants to get back into work, the think-tank said. 

Andy Cook, chief executive of the CSJ, said: “[To get unemployed tenants back into work] is a win for everyone.

“The housing associations get their rents paid on time. The taxpayer saves thousands of pounds - millions of pounds in the long term.

“And most importantly for us, people are helped out of poverty and back into work.”

Research by the CSJ found that households living in social housing are four times more likely to be workless than those living in private housing.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “We welcome the encouragement of this initiative, and will continue to work with housing partners to help people overcome the employment barriers they face so they get the same opportunity as others to fulfil their potential.”

The report also recommended that housing association collaborate better with job centres - currently only 27% coordinate with local job centre staff.

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