This research, undertaken for North Wales working group by the Tyfu Tai Cymru team in 2020, focused on the reasons preventing people from moving into homes that are the “right size” despite their current homes being too big or too small, utilising insights from professionals, tenants and the existing literature to propose areas of future focus for the group to work collaboratively on progressing.
Using a mixed method approach (including literature review, survey of tenants and staff, and semi-structured focus group discussions), a number of threads emergence from the evidence, including:
- Housing supply is a key barrier limiting choice for tenants and placing organisations on the back-foot when considering how to both alleviate urgent housing need, and also ensuring a sufficient supply of homes to allow choice and mobility as people’s circumstances change over time.
- Other systemic barriers included the impact of the ‘bedroom tax’ limiting choice and control and the conflict between ensuring the viability of new housing developments against delivering homes that would maximise housing mobility.
- For tenants, practical support really matters when considering moving. In this respect, financial assistance was a priority but respondents showed support for a variety of other measures that would help reflecting that a one size fits all approach would not work, and that different interventions would fit different circumstances to prompt or help facilitate a move.
- Concerns around disability, illness, caring responsibilities, ongoing mental and physical well-being were common features of the comments included by tenants – reflecting the pressures in people’s lives that can drive feelings of anxiety about the future and the perception of how suitable a home is and will be going forward.
- Perhaps of most concern was the finding that the majority of tenants didn’t know where to go for help with moving. This re-affirms the need to consider how tenants are kept informed of the support available.
Whilst some of the challenges highlighted are those which will take large-scale change to national policy to resolve, there are some areas that seem ripe for new/additional collaboration, as discussed further in the report.