Study looks at the impact of COVID on social housing

Published by  Communications

On 12th Aug 2020

Tower block with many lights on against backdrop of city buildings and early night sky

Researchers at UEA are warning that the end of the eviction ban - a government scheme introduced to support renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic - may force a further widening of the gap between social housing supply and demand, leaving even more people in precarious situations. 

With the ban ending on August 23 and unemployment already rising significantly, making bills more difficult to pay, eviction may become even more common and put further demands on social housing, while supply will remain fixed in the short term.

Authorities with both a high mixed ethnic population and many working in struggling industries, such as transport, hotels and restaurants, may experience the highest strain on social housing demand. There are indications that COVID-19 is impacting the BAME population more significantly and finding a way to support those with larger families will be crucial.

Dr Emiliya Lazarova, associate professor in economics, and Pierre Bruton, a third year undergraduate student in the School of Economics, present their findings in a new blog.

While they use evidence from local authorities in London and Norfolk, Dr Lazarova and Mr Bruton argue more broadly that to tackle the looming social housing crisis effectively authorities need to work with local data and local stakeholders.

Dr Lazarova said: “Local authorities will face various challenges during this pandemic. It is now more than ever that they need to use data and evidence across local authorities to revolutionize their social housing allocation mechanism to better suit the needs of their local population by reducing waiting times and increasing the quality of the match.”

The authors draw on data they have gathered on the social housing sector at the local authority level over the last three years, for example on the type of housing available and how it is allocated, and link this with evidence on COVID-19 to see the impact on social housing.

They focus on two key factors that underpin the differential impact COVID-19 is predicted to have on different localities: the concentration of economic activity and the ethnic composition of the local population.

They find that certain local authorities will be disproportionately affected by COVID-19 as a result of industry concentration and ethnic composition. For example, London as a whole may see a greater spike in demand for social housing than Norfolk. Due to the stock of social housing, some authorities should be in a better position to support this increase in demand than others.

Latest News

Dr Leticia Yulita
09 Aug 2022

Language and intercultural expert awarded highest teaching accolade

Dr Leticia Yulita, who teaches Spanish and Intercultural Communication in the School of PPL, has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship, the highest...

Read more >
The Thames riverbed impacted by drought
03 Aug 2022

Why we could be heading for a drought and what we can do about it

England and Wales have seen the driest start of the year since 1976 and it has raised concerns that the UK could be heading for a drought.

Read more >
UEA campus
28 Jul 2022

UEA campus wins sixth straight international Green Flag Award

UEA campus has won the internationally renowned Green Flag award for a sixth year in succession. 

Read more >
Are you searching for something?
Bluegrass under the sea.
28 Jul 2022

Carbon removal using ‘blue carbon’ habitats “uncertain and unreliable”

Restoring coastal vegetation – so called ‘blue carbon’ habitats – may not be the nature-based climate solution it is claimed to be, according to a new study.

Read more >
A woman wearing a plastic face shield.
28 Jul 2022

Face shields don’t give high level Covid protection, study shows

If you wore a face shield during the pandemic, it probably didn’t give you a high level of protection against Covid, according to new research from the...

Read more >
An Indian woman uses a washing machine.
22 Jul 2022

Gender pay gap linked to unpaid chores in childhood

Young women and girls' time spent in unpaid household work contributes to the gender pay gap, according to new research from the Universities of East Anglia...

Read more >
Prof Andy Jordan
22 Jul 2022

UEA professor receives prestigious British Academy fellowship for a lifetime devoted to climate change

Prof Andy Jordan, Professor of Environmental Policy at the University of East Anglia (UEA), has joined the likes of Dame Mary Beard and Sir Simon Schama in being...

Read more >
Clockwise from top left: Samira Ahmed; Myleene Klass; Fiona Igwe; Adam Kay (credit: Charlie Clift); Dame Sarah Gilbert (credit: John Cairns/University of Oxford); Simon Thomas (credit: Jonny Barratt)
11 Jul 2022

Dame Sarah Gilbert, Myleene Klass and Adam Kay among honorary graduates attending UEA’s 2022 graduation ceremonies

Twenty-five honorary graduates will be joining the celebration at UEA's graduation ceremonies later this month (Thursday 14 - Tuesday 26 July), ranging from...

Read more >
A dementia patient receives care.
11 Jul 2022

Funding boost for dementia research careers at UEA

The next generation of UEA researchers investigating how to improve services and care for people affected by dementia are set to benefit from increased funding...

Read more >