A breakdown of our research

Our Vision for Social Housing report drew on a wide range of research and analysis, including a large programme of primary research.

We undertook an extensive programme of qualitative and quantitative research – including consultations with social renters, groups who could be social renters such as private renters, and the wider public. Our activities included:

Engaging a panel of ‘experts by experience’

Comprising former Shelter service users, our panel gave their views on the development of the research, assisted us to interpret findings from our research and consultation and develop policy recommendations. We held regular calls and correspondence with the panel. We also held four research and policy workshops with our service users in Bournemouth, Birmingham, Hackney, and Newcastle in order to bring in their perspectives, through the course of the project.

Opening a mass consultation

We collected the views and experiences of people across England through an online portal, with opportunities for people to give a mix of quantifiable and open-ended responses. This was open from March-June 2018. In total, 31,236 people participated in our Big Conversation mass consultation, including 7,681 social housing tenants (25% of respondents).

Launching a call for evidence

We asked individuals, grassroots organisations, and stakeholder groups to share wider evidence. This was open from March-July 2018. We received 20 submissions of evidence from professional bodies and associations.

Working with research agency Britain Thinks

Britain Thinks undertook qualitative and quantitative research into the issues surrounding social housing. This included 60 in-depth, in-home face-to-face interviews, diary tasks, and home and neighbourhood visits with social housing tenants, private renters on low incomes,* homeless households in temporary accommodation, other households on social housing waiting lists, and local residents. Interviews were held in a diverse range of locations: Pendle, Birmingham, Harlow, North London, Middlesbrough and Bristol. In order to explore how common certain issues were among all social and private tenants, and the variability of tenants’ experiences across the country/in different forms of housing, we conducted representative telephone and online surveys with over 5,700 social and private tenants – and the wider population.

Partnering with economics consultancy Capital Economics

It undertook an analysis of public sector expenditure on housing in England, and modelling of the economic and fiscal implications of scenarios for government funding of a significant programme of social housebuilding.

Developing case studies with Urbed

An urban design and research consultancy, Urbed developed case studies for us of how affordable homes contribute to the housing landscape in a variety of international contexts.

Carrying out desk research

Our researchers carried out desk research, new data analysis, and produced briefings into multiple facets of housing. These included housing conditions, affordability, attitudes to housing, tenant voices, regulation, housebuilding, and neighbourhoods.

Holding workshops across England

To deepen our understanding of issues around social housing, and develop our policy recommendations in partnership with the people most closely affected by them, we worked with Britain Thinks to hold five deliberative workshops with social tenants and low-income private tenants in Grimsby, Doncaster, Manchester, Oxford, and London.

Organising policy-focused events and public debates

We held two policy-focused stakeholder events to develop our ideas with housing providers, government agencies, and statutory/non-statutory bodies. And to further road-test our ideas with a wider audience, we held public debates in Manchester, London, Bristol and Birmingham.

* Defined as the poorest fifth of private renters, as determined by household annual income.