LSE Housing Bill research sounds alarm for care sector and other service industries

The London School of Economics has today reported on Camden Council commissioned research into the impact of the Housing and Planning Bill on the employment of social tenants and the London economy. Results point to an increasingly difficult housing situation for those on low wages with the knock on effect of this being a potential recruitment crisis for industries that are crucial to a healthy London economy.

The Camden Council commissioned research says the care sector could be strongly affected, as many social tenants work in childcare and caring for older people. The provisions of the bill would reduce the amount of genuinely affordable housing in boroughs like Camden, and this reduction would almost certainly be permanent. In addition, some existing tenants would be forced to leave the borough entirely, and there would be fewer vacancies to accommodate households in need.

Camden Council Leader Sarah Hayward said:“London is facing an unprecedented housing crisis and we’re deeply concerned that the Housing and Planning Bill will make it worse. We’ve always said that the government’s policies will damage London’s economy and the research backs this up.

“The evidence shows that the central London boroughs have successful economies because they have a mix of low, middle and high income earners who live close to their workplaces. The bill puts this productive dynamic at huge risk and it’s clear that the government haven’t done any proper research - that’s why we commissioned LSE.

“The Bill will force people into expensive private rented property or out of London completely, leaving employers struggling to access a workforce for lower and medium income roles. It’s clear that the time has come for the government to look again at its policies and to completely rethink the Housing Bill before it’s too late and our economy suffers as a result.”

Kath Scanlon, Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at LSE London, said: “Inner London will be most affected by the housing bill. Our findings are troubling for employers, people in work and those seeking employment, and have implications for the infrastructure of London and its economy.

“We found that social tenants are more likely to work in particular employment sectors, and these sectors could be dramatically affected by a loss of social housing. These include the care professions – childcare and care for the elderly, for example. The need for such services in boroughs like Camden is growing and providers are already losing workers because of London’s cost of housing.

“These jobs are vital for the health of inner London’s economy and residential neighbourhoods, and they provide essential support for those who work in other roles. Our findings detail a number of key policy areas that would benefit from a closer look.” 

The LSE looked at the impact of the expected reductions in social housing in inner London and found the following:

  • Many social housing residents work in vital sectors, including childcare, social care, cleaning and retail
  • For roles such as these, employers need a locally based workforce
  • The Housing and Planning Bill puts a local workforce at risk
  • Demand for these types of service is growing in areas like Camden, and providers are already losing workers because of London’s housing costs.

You can view the full report on our web page here