Research

Real London Lives: Key themes 2013 to 2015
September 2016

The Real London Lives project has followed the lives and experiences of working-age housing association tenants in the capital since 2013, a three-year period of rapid economic change and welfare reform.

Commissioned by g15, the University of York’s Centre for Housing Policy has conducted longitudinal research consisting of annual large-scale quantitative surveys and in-depth qualitative surveys with tenants of g15 housing associations. Reports and summaries are available of all the studies on the Real London Lives website.

This short briefing draws together some of the key themes that have emerged during the course of the three year project.

Click here to read the 2013 to 2015 Key themes.


Real London Lives: Final Report
September 2016

The Real London Lives project has followed the lives and experiences of a large group of London housing association tenants over a three-year period of rapid economic change and welfare reform between 2013 and 2015.

The results of the quantitative and qualitative research, summarised here, focus particularly on household finances and how work and the financial circumstances of the families have changed during the course of the study.

Click here to read the Final Report.

Click here to read the G15 Social Housing Tenants and Household Economics Report.
Click here to read the G15 Social Housing Tenants: Work and Financial Stability Report.


 

Hazelyn

New researched unveiled today is the second year qualitative findings of the Real London Lives three year longitudinal study, aimed at debunking the myth that social housing residents are characterised by high levels of benefit dependency, lone parenthood, long-term unemployment, limited aspiration, or that people’s access to social housing has been easy. After two years, our research is revealing increasingly complex trends where, although employment played a central role in most households but, people are experiencing a reduction in working hours and low pay.

In order to combat this underemployment, our research has found that many residents are increasingly juggling two poorly paid jobs which fit together in terms of hours, so called ‘jigsaw jobs’. The residents we interviewed were doing everything possible to try and combat reduced working hours.  In some cases this had reduced income from a full-time to a part-time wage, but in many others, already part-time hours had been pared away further to leave erratic shifts at odd times. Read the full report from the University of York or view our summary here.

This latest g15 commissioned report, led by Dr Julie Rugg from the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York, presents findings from the second annual qualitative interviews which took place over 2014/15, and included 42 of the initial round of households interviewed. In this second round of interviews, the households contained 71 working-age tenants. The qualitative research includes repeated quantitative telephone interviews and repeated in-depth face-to-face qualitative interviews with g15 tenants by the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York.

The in depth interviews with over 70 households also found that:

  • Three quarters of households are still in work a year on
  • None of the households contained ‘generations out of work’, contrary to widely held myths about residents living in social housing
  • The majority of teenage children in the survey are heading for higher education

Also included within the report summary page is a video featuring Hazelyn, a g15 housing association resident. Despite having gained a degree she came across other barriers, such as a lack of experience which prevented her from finding employment. Being a social housing tenant, there were services available to help her find her feet. Hear Hazelyn’s story in her own words and find out where she is now, here.


RLL-SamanthaNew research just released is the second instalment of the Real London Lives three year longitudinal study, aimed at debunking the myth that social housing residents are characterised by high levels of benefit dependency, lone parenthood, long-term unemployment, limited aspiration, or that people’s access to social housing has been easy. Building on our findings from 2013 and analysing the results a year later has revealed a complex picture, with some working age housing association tenants experiencing stability, while others have borne enormous change over the past year. Read the full report from the University of York or view our summary.

A core part of the Real London Lives project is independent research. This ground-breaking study, led by Dr Julie Rugg from the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York, is the latest instalment of Real London Lives three year research programme. It continues to follow the lives of 560 working age residents of London’s largest housing association landlords. The research includes repeated quantitative telephone interviews and repeated in-depth face-to-face qualitative interviews with g15 tenants by the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York.

This latest instalment reveals how many working housing association residents are positive about work, but some face serious financial problems. For instance, we found that 16 per cent of all households were so financially stretched in 2014 that they resorted to food banks, pawnbrokers, payday loan companies, or rent-to-own shops to make ends meet. Ahead of expected further welfare budget cuts, this makes for some worrying reading. Especially when we consider that this is despite the fact that the number of unemployed housing association residents in London has dropped from 21 per cent to 12 per cent in the past year.

Also included within the report summary page is a video featuring Samantha, one of the G15 housing association residents taking part in the study. Her story gives a real picture of the types of unexpected change that can occur, plunging people into financial difficulty and which can leave people really struggling to live within their means despite all their efforts. Learn more about Samantha’s story here.


 

Website_logo_lrThe latest Real London Lives research report from the g15 group of London’s largest housing associations debunks the myth that social housing residents are characterised by high levels of benefit dependency, lone parenthood, long-term unemployment, limited aspiration, or that people’s access to social housing has been easy. Read the full report from the University of York or browse our summary.


dr-julie-ruggA core part of the Real London Lives project is independent research. The g15 has commissioned a ground-breaking study which will be led by Dr Julie Rugg from the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York. Dr Rugg is well respected in her field and led the Rugg Review into the private rented sector.

The research will include more than 1,500 quantitative interviews as well as 60 in-depth qualitative interviews The longitudinal study will capture the hopes and aspirations of Londoners living in affordable housing, identifying the specific challenges they face, as well as highlighting the role these ordinary Londoners play in their local communities.


 

g15-logoThe g15 is the only organisation to carry out pan-London research across a wide range of affordable housing tenures, over an extended period of time. The g15 project not only looks at the impact on residents living in traditional socially rented accommodation, but also at those in low cost home ownership and intermediate market rental property.

http://g15london.org.uk/


 

Figure_1

 

The first stage of the research involved a telephone survey in August 2013 with a random sample of g15 tenants. There were 1,648 respondents. This initial report gives a brief overview of their financial situations at the time. You can read the report here.


 

Website_logo_lrBriefing on survey responses from over 1,600 Londoners living in housing association homes, independently analysed by the Centre for Housing Research, University of York was presented between 9.30am – 11.30am on Wednesday 11th June, 2014 at Affinity Sutton, Level 6, 6 More London Place, Tooley Street, London, SE1 2DA.


 

g15_telephone_survey_reportThe g15, commissioned the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York to carry out independent analysis of a how their residents were responding to economic change and the introduction of welfare reform. This report contains an analysis of a telephone survey with a representative sample of 1,648 working-age g15 tenants. You will be able to view the full report here.

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