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Longleigh Foundation: Floor Covering Provision in Social Housing

Longleigh Foundation: Floor Covering Provision in Social Housing

Longleigh Foundation: Floor Covering Provision in Social Housing

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Would you be comfortable living in a home with bare floorboards? For those who are new to social housing, it can come as a shock that homes do not come with floor coverings as standard. After all, the people who need social housing are those least likely to have the income or savings needed for what can be quite a significant spend.

A new report published by Longleigh Foundation, shows that an estimated 760,000 adults currently living in social housing with no carpet or flooring in their bedrooms and living areas. Given there is an estimated 4.9million social homes in the UK, this could be as many as 15% of households living in social housing.

The report is available to read in full here on Longleigh Foundation website, who commissioned the research in response to their experience as a grant maker providing grants to families moving into social housing without floor coverings.

80% of social housing tenants move into homes with partial or no floor coverings, and tenants responded saying that they feel stigmatised by the lack of floor coverings, with those responding to the Resident Voice Index survey using the word ‘poor’ as the main singular word response.

The positive news is that Wales and Scotland have implemented new standards which set out the expectations for the provision of floor coverings at point of let in social homes, however England still lags behind in this regard.

Main findings

The research highlighted the benefits associated with social housing having floor coverings, which are:

  • Social Return on Investment: By including the provision of floor coverings as part of a wider package of essential furniture, a social return on investment of £7,673 can be achieved. This investment not only improves living conditions but also contributes to overall wellbeing.
  • Emotional and Wellbeing Benefits:Having decent floor coverings at the point of let turns a house into a warm and inviting home, creating a sense of comfort, security and positively impacts mental health. Tenants experience reduced feelings of stigma and have an increased sense of pride and belonging in their living environment.
  • Economic Opportunities:Ensuring that floor coverings are provided at the point of let and that existing good quality carpet is not removed at the end of a tenancy offers economic opportunities including increased employment and skill development in floor fitting which can positively impact local communities.

Longleigh Foundation are calling on politicians, officials and landlords to allocate funding to improve the floor covering standards across the country, to raise awareness of the issue that isn’t one that is widely known, and for landlords especially to take responsibility and provide floor coverings as access to decent living conditions is a basic right, regardless of income or savings.

Read the full report here.

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