This paper is based on research originally conducted as part of MSc at University College London, 2017, and subsequent research conducted at Peabody. It uses Millennium Cohort Study data to compare the cognitive, health, emotional, and behavioural development outcomes of children living in social housing compared with those living in private rented housing in England. It builds on work on previous birth cohort studies to examine how the relationship between tenure and outcomes has changed over time, and how, when controlling for a limited set of socioeconomic factors, the children of social housing tenants are no worse off than the children of private renters. This challenges research which has previously found they tend to be worse off, even when controlling for various socioeconomic factors.
Two potential explanations are presented. Firstly, that the “tenure effect” of social housing has changed as the tenure rose and fell during the 20th century, before improving following the Decent Homes Programme and national and local efforts to improve life on social housing estates. Secondly, that the results are influenced by selection bias, as increasingly limited social housing supply resulted first in the residualisation of the tenure to the most disadvantaged, before the rapidly growing private rented sector began to represent a greater proportion of this group, narrowing the gap.
This research helps to build on our understanding of the life experiences and outcomes of children in social housing and how this compares to private renting.
This paper gives a brief background of housing policy in England from the 2010 general election where David Cameron was appointed Prime Minister of a Coalition government with the Liberal Democrats and throughout the years that followed. The study looks at government attitudes towards social housing from 2015, where David Cameron had just become Prime Minister of an entirely Conservative Government, to 2018 following important events such as Brexit and the tragic Grenfell Tower fire. Through the application of politeness theory, as originally put forward by Brown & Levinson (1978, 1987), the study analysis the speeches of key ministers to the National Housing Summit and suggests that the use of positive and negative politeness strategies could give an idea as to the true attitudes of government. Word download