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Welfare reform on the Web (January 2007): Social housing - UK

A positive outlook? The housing needs and aspirations of working age people with visual impairments

J. Percival, J. Hanson and D. Osipovic

Disability and Society, vol.21, 2006, p.661-675

The research on which this paper is based set out to investigate the experiences and priorities of working age visually impaired people with regard to their housing circumstances. The housing needs of this population have previously received limited attention. This research aimed to fill the gap in our knowledge through interviews with 121 people with visual impairments living in London. Interviewees identified particular needs in respect of: 1) space for equipment storage; 2) space for a guide dog; 3) provision of a spare bedroom; 4) housing which is close to amenities, family/friends, and transport links; and 5) appropriate design modifications.

Transfers, contracts and regulation: a new institutional economics perspective on the changing provision of social housing in Britain

K. Gibb and C. Nygaard

Housing Studies, vol.21, 2006, p.825-850

Social housing policy in the UK mirrors wider processes associated with shifts in broad welfare regimes. It is currently undergoing major reforms intended to introduce competition between social landlords, price signals, and other features of quasi-markets. Government has also greatly increased regulatory oversight of social housing. If these trends run their course, we are likely to see a range of not-for-profit bodies providing social housing in a highly regulated quasi-market. The paper examines these issues through the lens of new institutional economics, which the authors believe can provide important insights into the fundamental contractual and regulatory relationships that are coming to dominate social housing, from the perspective of the key actors in the sector (not-for-profit housing organisations, their tenants, private lenders and the regulatory state). It draws evidence from a study of 100 stock transfer housing associations in Scotland, including 12 detailed case studies.

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