Analysis by Ecorys has found that resident engagement is key to ensuring effective housing improvement projects.
When housing improvement works capture the trust and engagement of residents, a positive impact on their efficiency and cost-effectiveness may be seen, as well as on the resulting resident satisfaction, the researchers found. Eight in-depth case studies carried out by Ecorys’ Policy and Research team have been included in a recent report by Eurofound: The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.
In addition, the case studies demonstrate that the need to address poor quality housing should not be considered in isolation from other social issues. People who are living in poor quality housing often need support in other areas – such as health and employability – to help them move towards positive development paths, the researchers write. Where initiatives to address inadequate housing do not address this broader range of issues, they should nevertheless recognise and consider their interaction in order to improve the sustainability of housing improvement measures.
In one case study, Ecorys researchers examined a number of specific measures to address overcrowding in London. They found that, aside from large-scale house building programmes, there are many ways of mitigating the negative impact on health and wellbeing that may result from living in overcrowded conditions. One idea that has been tested recently and shown to be potentially cost-effective by the research is the use of space-saving schemes. The research also showed that, when handled sensitively, targeting under-occupied dwellings to free up larger homes can have an important role to play in addressing overcrowding.
Read the full Inadequate housing in Europe: Costs and consequences report.
For more information on the project, contact either James Sennett or Tim Fox from our Policy and Research team.