A tenant's journey: Social housing and life-chances

Project leads: Professor Andy Lymer and Dr James Gregory

This is a three-year research project launched in 2017. In partnership with East Devon District Council (EDDC) and Live West Housing, we have been exploring the relationship between housing tenure, wellbeing and life-chances.

We have recently collected survey data from over 1500 households, a large proportion of which are living in the private rental sector and are on the EDDC’s housing waiting list. This is an exciting research prospect, as it has proved to be very hard to capture the experiences of those living at the bottom end of the private rental sector. We have recently been interviewing some of these households, alongside social tenants and shared-owners as the first in a series of such interviews following the same individuals and families over the next two years, covering the period in which Universal Credit is rolled out.

Research objectives

To examine the reality of the lived experienced and ‘life-chances’ of social tenants and owner-occupiers, based on a mixed methods study of social tenants and shared-owners in EDDC and DCH’s area of operation (primarily East Devon and environs). The rationale of the project is to examine the assumption that owner-occupation is an intrinsically superior form of housing.

Research team

  • Dr James Gregory, University of Birmingham
  • Professor Andy Lymer, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Louise Overton, University of Birmingham

Partners and sponsors

East Devon District Council (EDDC)

Live West Housing

EDDC and Live West Housing are equal partners and provide matched funding on an annual basis.

Outputs and impact

Find out more


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