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Housing and Social Mobility

APPG into employment and social housing study finds need for funding certainty, devolved programmes to support employment opportunities.

The All-Party Parliament Group (APPG) on Housing and Social Mobility has today published a new report, examining the barriers working age people in social housing face in securing employment and progressing in work.

Published in the face of the largest unemployment crisis faced in the UK for over 100 years, the APPG’s new report, ‘Improving Opportunities: How to support social housing tenants into sustainable employment’, urges funding certainty for key programmes that help tackle unemployment. This includes the Shared Prosperity Fund, and clarity as to how it will replace the European Social Fund (ESF) which is coming to an end now the UK has left the EU. Housing providers rely on the ESF to deliver many of their employment and training services, and support people into work.

The report, written by UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE), also warns that a national one size fits all approach fails to deliver for those who need it. Instead, the report recommends that employment support in England and Wales is commissioned, designed, and delivered locally – through local government, housing associations and local bodies. Devolving programmes in this way could save money whilst aligning employment support to fit local job markets, create new jobs and provide better opportunities for unemployed people to access sustainable employment.

The new report also suggests that the tenure security and affordability provided by social housing may give people the stability they need to create a foundation for success, helping them overcome barriers and in turn secure employment.

The evidence led report received over 60 submissions from the social housing, government and employment sectors. Crucially, the inquiry also heard from social housing tenants about what had been most helpful for them as they sought work. This is believed to be the first report on social housing providers and their often unremarked role within employment and training support to publish in the UK since Covid-19 took effect.

The report, which was led by Communities that Work and PlaceShapers, with additional support from the housing sector’s GEM programme, also set out a number of other recommendations for Government consideration:

Peter Aldous MP, Co-Chair of the APPG on Housing and Social Mobility commented:

“This APPG Inquiry on Housing and Employment establishes clear evidence for what works most effectively and consistently in supporting people to sustain their own livelihoods. I look forward to working with the Government, fellow MPs and the social housing sector to bring the inquiry’s recommendations to life, recognising that working together gives us the greatest chance of achieving long term, positive changes in communities across the UK.”

Lynsey Sweeney, Managing Director, Communities that Work commented:

“With the economic damage from COVID-19 likely to exceed previous recessions, this inquiry drives home the need for Government to work with the social housing sector to deliver meaningful employment and training support and put the UK on the path to recovery. The inquiry’s findings emphasise the vital role social housing providers can play in driving local economic growth that will help communities thrive and level up.”

Matthew Walker, Chair, PlaceShapers commented:

“This report clearly shows that the security and affordability of social housing helps people to be able to find and keep a job. In addition, the work of social landlords in supporting their residents into work can be transformative. Social landlords are experts in the places they work, and have a strong track record working with residents to help them achieve sustainable jobs. The inquiry’s findings show that social landlords should play a far greater role in designing and delivering employment support programmes across the country.”

The full report can be found here.

Media Contact:

Name: Leslie Wertheimer, Account Director at Cavendish Advocacy (part of BECG)


About the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Social Mobility

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Social Mobility (APPG) was founded in 2020 to champion social housing providers that support tenants and residents to secure sustainable livelihoods.

Housing associations play a vital role in building communities that work.  Yet their investment - over £70m in employment support - and the value this creates - is not fully recognised. The APPG on Housing and Social Mobility brings together MPs and Peers from across all political parties to better understand these issues.

Officers of the APPG:

The APPG Inquiry into Housing and Employment

In March 2020, the APPG on Housing and Social Mobility launched a national Inquiry to further understand the employment and earnings gap in social housing and identify how to reduce this. This brought together insights from sector experts, housing providers, and residents by gathering written and oral evidence which addressed the Inquiry’s questions.

The APPG Inquiry was supported by Communities that Work and PlaceShapers, with additional support from the housing sector GEM programme. The research partner for the Inquiry is the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE).

Funders of the Inquiry:

Communities that Work

Communities that Work is the voice of housing providers who deliver employment support and services to communities across England & Wales. Together our members own and manage over 1.4 million homes. We aim to transform lives for good, by enabling housing providers to support people into rewarding, sustainable employment.



PlaceShapers are distinctive. We Care, We Build, We Share. Our network of more than 100 community-based social housing providers build more than homes; we shape communities and unite around shared values as a voice for change.



The UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) is a consortium of 14 institutions led by the University of Glasgow. The centre is a multidisciplinary partnership between academia, housing policy and practice to produce evidence and new research to contribute to tackling the UK’s housing problems at a national, devolved, regional, and local level. CaCHE is supported by the ESRC, AHRC and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.



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