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Choice, Quality & Equity. Homeless households’ experiences of accessing private rented accommodation through a rent deposit guarantee scheme. Ross Morris, PhD student University of Glasgow. Background. Recent legislative changes Housing (Scotland) Act 2001

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choice quality equity

Choice, Quality & Equity

Homeless households’ experiences of accessing private rented accommodation through a rent deposit guarantee scheme

Ross Morris, PhD student

University of Glasgow

  • Recent legislative changes
    • Housing (Scotland) Act 2001
      • Greater LA responsibility for strategic planning of homelessness provision
      • Rights of both priority and non-priority households extended
    • Homelessness etc (Scotland) Act 2003
      • Phased abolition of priority need by 2012
applications to local authorities under the homeless persons legislation
Applications to local authorities under the Homeless Persons legislation

Housing (Scotland) Act 2001

Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003

Scottish Government (2011)

why private involvement
Why private involvement?
  • First, the need to respond to trends of increased demand and reducing supply;
    • Utilising stock in the PRS
  • Secondly, part of a wider trend towards privatisation of welfare;
    • Private sector seen as offering a greater degree of choice, quality and equity for service users
    • However, could equally lead to restriction of rights through reduced public provision, as well as inequity and reductions in service quality
research aims
Research aims
  • To consider the extent to which the private rented sector improves homeless households’;
    • Choice
      • Property, location, tenure
    • Quality
      • Meets basic needs? How accommodation compares to other accommodation known to participants.
    • Equity
      • Housing, financial and social needs
  • Focus
    • Households entering PRS through rent deposit guarantee scheme
  • Sampling
    • Purposive, non-probability sample through one local organisation
  • Qualitative interviews
    • 11 interviews
    • 30-45 minute interviews (in theory!)
    • Mostly in participants’ homes
findings choice
Findings - Choice
  • Improvements in choice
    • Accessing sought-after/desirable locations
    • Improves choice in social rented sector
  • Limitations to choice
    • Landlords refusing LHA tenants
    • LHA and affordability
    • Difficulty accessing alternative accommodation

“When you get through the hostels and things [...] you only get one option of where you want to go, and you’re more likely to get put back into streets and places that are not great. [...] So private let at least allows me to be on the housing list. It may take me a longer period before I can get somewhere, but at least I can situate where I want to go really, and can try to stay clear of those areas”.

findings quality
Findings - Quality
  • Quality of accommodation
    • Properties meet housing needs
    • Generally compares well with other properties known to participants
    • Most tenants satisfied with location
  • Issues with quality
    • Size of property
    • Modernisation required
    • Central (rather than residential) location
findings equity
Findings - Equity
  • Housing needs
    • Satisfaction with landlord/letting agent & services provided
    • Perceptions of PRS generally positive, however;
      • Some concerns about security of tenure
      • Property not viewed as “their own”
      • Stopgap?
    • Housing aspirations?
findings equity1
Findings - Equity
  • Financial needs
    • Most participants “better off” or “about the same”
    • Rent covered by LHA for most participants
    • Employment
      • Property location – mostly positive impact on this, but;
      • Limited employment options in area?
      • Accommodation costs make taking up employment difficult
findings equity2
Findings – Equity
  • Social needs
    • Location
      • Proximity to amenities, friends, family etc
    • Relationships with neighbours
    • Generally felt “part of things”
      • Small number noted feelings of isolation
  • Considerable opportunities, however;
    • Choice must be real
    • Competition between providers
    • Longer-term needs
ross morris r morris 1@research gla ac uk 0141 330 4615
Ross Morris

0141 330 4615