Agenda item

Your Home Your Wellbeing research report


The Information and Analysis Officer’s report presented the results and conclusions of a three year research partnership between East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) housing department, the University of Birmingham’s Research Centre on Household Assets and Saving Management (CHASM), and LiveWest.


The objective of the partnership was to build a richer understanding of people’s experience of their home and the relationship between their home, landlord and wellbeing.  Over 3,500 social tenants, private renters (those on the Devon Home Choice housing register) and those in shared ownership responded to the survey. 58 respondents were also interviewed, some of whom were contacted over all three years of the study.

The key findings were that:

  • Having a good home mattered to overall life satisfaction and happiness.
  • Social housing had a positive impact on all aspects of wellbeing. It helped to reduce levels of anxiety, particularly for those facing mental health challenges. 
  • Respondents who did not feel safe or who felt they had no control in their home were more likely to report lower levels of life-satisfaction and were more likely to be anxious. Respondents who felt that they had privacy and control in their homes were more likely to report being happy.
  • Satisfaction with the local area in which a home was situated was associated with higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction, and with lower levels of anxiety.
  • Half of all of those who were surveyed reported that they are struggling to make ends meet. Those struggling to make ends meet were more likely to be anxious and less likely to be happy or satisfied with their life.
  • Respondents were likely to report that they experienced poor mental health if they were less than 65 years old, living alone, living with non-dependent children or felt like their home affected their wellbeing in a negative way.
  • Universal Credit was not working well for everyone and, in particular, it had a negative impact on the wellbeing of claimants with mental health challenges.


The report emphasised that what the Council did as a social landlord really made a difference to the lives of its tenants from ensuring stock was maintained to a high level, to the additional support services provided to tenants as a social landlord.

The report also supported the growing national consensus that something needed to be ‘done’ about housing for many people living in East Devon. It was well documented that there was not just a shortage of housing across all tenures but for many people they were living in unsuitable and unaffordable homes and with few options for how to improve their housing situation. The result for many people was housing insecurity and financial struggle, with resultant negative impacts on wellbeing.

The Information and Analysis Officer was thanked for her involvement in the fantastic piece of work.  She advised the Board that she could provide members with ward level information if the requested it.


RECOMMNEDED: that Cabinet approve that:

  1. Where appropriate evidence is used from the research to support housing’s decision making and service planning.
  2. All teams within housing have access to the advice and expertise of the mental health specialist for supporting East Devon tenants.
  3. There is better understanding of the housing needs of those on the Devon Home Choice register and they are supported on their housing journey.

4.     The Council continues to invest in our homes and neighbourhoods and ensure repairs and the programme works done to our properties are of a high standard.

5.     The Housing Service supports universal credit claimants by helping them to maintain their tenancies and offer budgetary and financial advice where necessary.

6.     The Council continue to work with others to provide more housing opportunities and choices for people living in East Devon.

7.     The study be used on a wider scale to promote the research with the Council’s partners nationally to promote the value of social housing.



Supporting documents: