The UK has 1.4 million fewer homes in the social housing stock than in 1980; housing charity Shelter has estimated 90,000 new social homes are needed each year in England to meet the huge demand that continues to grow.
Elliot Leigh has always recognised that a home is a fundamental human need, as such, one of our core values is to make a social impact. We actively engage with local authorities and communities to address the UK housing crisis, demonstrating a sense of social responsibility and contributing positively to the areas we serve. The issue is, more people than ever are struggling to afford a secure place to live. Read on to learn more.
What is causing the social housing crisis?
Whilst the social housing crisis cannot be attributed to a single cause, it is believed to be a direct result of a small number of failings.
An increase in poverty and homelessness Changes to wage systems and a lack of affordable housing nationwide has lead to a significant increase in homelessness and poverty within the UK. As expected, this has increased the need for more social housing properties.
A lack of social housing
Over the last few decades, the UK has seen a significant decline in the number of social housing properties being built. Not only this, but the quality of housing provided is usually rather poor. This decline has come from a lack of investment from the government alongside a shift to private ownership of said properties.
What are Elliot Leigh doing to help?
1. Working with Landlords & Local Authorities
We are a well established Guaranteed Rent agency with over 20 years of expertise, acting as a vital link between councils and landlords to supply temporary accommodation to those in need. Over the past decades, we have established strong relationships with various local councils, earning their trust in providing top quality housing. In return, these councils commit to maintaining the properties and we are able to offer our landlords a hassle-free, long-term tenancy at a reasonable rental rate.
Leigh Young, Director at Elliot Leigh, describes the Guaranteed Rent scheme as a "great synergy between doing some good for social housing and giving a service to landlord that comes without any of the hassle that comes with conventional letting”.
2. Eliminating the Need for Hotels
The lack of social housing means Local Authorities have been forced to pay to house people in private temporary accommodation, such as hotels, whilst they wait for a permanent home.
Enfield council released data that stated that, as of February 2023, they were housing around 200 families in hotels with a nightly cost per room of approximately £100. Monthly spending on hotels reached £500,000 in February 2023 for Enfield council alone.
Temporary accommodation is not something that can be eliminated completely. It is often required as a result of emergencies such as Domestic Violence and those seeking asylum. We can, however, shift to a more affordable alternative such as homes offered through a Guaranteed Rent Scheme.
Through sourcing from a Guaranteed Rent Scheme, we provide a link between the private and public housing sectors to allow Local Authorities to provide the temporary accommodation needed for their tenants, who are waiting for a permanent placement. By working with landlords, we are able to save a significant amount of taxpayers money whilst providing our landlords with a guaranteed monthly income.
3. Redeveloping Empty Homes
A recent report released by the Local Government Association, in collaboration with the Empty Homes Network, has shown how empty homes within the UK have risen by 10% in the last 5 years, equating to 1% of the nation’s housing stock. The data shows that more than one million properties across England in 2022 were unoccupied, an increase of nearly 60,000 homes since 2018.
We aim to reduce the number of empty properties through regeneration projects. Using our in-house maintenance team, we are able to bring properties back on the market that were once in a state of disrepair. Currently, we are refurbishing and extending two flats that were previously uninhabitable to bring back for use as social housing.
“It’s a real sense of achievement when you take on a property that’s in a really poor condition, then we advise and work together to get it right up to a great standard and you know that it’s going to go to a good family or individual” says Leigh Young, Director of Elliot Leigh.
As a company we are actively looking for sites to develop, and to build partnerships with other people, local authorities & charities all over the country.
If you are a landlord looking for an alternative to traditional letting, contact us to find out more about the benefits of guaranteed rent, not only for a hassle-free experience and a guaranteed rental income but to also help to alleviate the social housing crisis.