Routes into social housing

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • in every ethnic group, the most likely route into social housing was applying directly – 46.3% of all households got into social housing this way
  • the second most likely route was being nominated by a local housing authority, with 25.4% of all households getting into social housing this way
  • these have remained the most likely routes into social housing since 2015/16
Things you need to know

Social housing is provided by local authorities and private registered providers (mainly housing associations).

This data relates to new, permanent lettings of social housing. It excludes lettings where a tenant starts a new tenancy agreement but stays in the same property (after their previous tenancy agreement ended).

The data only includes lettings where the tenant reported their ethnicity. This means that figures for new lettings published here may be different from other published figures on social housing.

There were 312,989 new lettings in 2017/18. The ethnicity of the main tenant was known for 297,565 of these new lettings (95%), and refused or missing for 15,655 lettings (5%).

The raw data has been taken from the Continuous Recording of Lettings and Sales in Social Housing (CORE) system. The statistics presented on this page have not been published separately by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

There may be some inaccuracy in the administrative data used to compile these statistics due to missing responses or reporting errors when the data was entered.

What the data measures

This data measures the percentage of new social housing lettings by type of referral, and shows the results for each ethnic group.

The type of referral is the main route that tenants use to get social housing. For example, they may have applied directly themselves, or been referred by a local housing authority.

Sources of referral include:

  • internal transfer – a household is given a new letting by their current housing association or local authority, or their fixed-term tenancy is renewed in their existing home
  • nominated by a local housing authority – a household is formally nominated for social housing by their local authority (often used for households in statutory homelessness)
  • referred by a local authority housing department – a household is referred by their local authority, but not under a formal nominations agreement
  • police, probation, prison – a household is referred by one of these agencies

Some routes have been combined under the category ‘Other’, including when the tenant is:

  • relocated through a recognised housing mobility scheme
  • referred by a youth offending team
  • referred by a community mental health team
  • referred by a health service

The information relates to households. A household is one person or a group of people (not necessarily related) who have the accommodation as their only or main residence. If it is a group, they must share cooking facilities and also share a living room, sitting room or dining area.

The data uses the ethnicity of the main tenant. For a single tenancy, this is the named tenant.

For a joint tenancy, the main tenant is:

  • the economically active or working person
  • the oldest person, if both tenants are working or both are not working

These figures are drawn from the Continuous Recording of Lettings and Sales in Social Housing (CORE) system in 2017/18. CORE is a complete census of new social housing lettings.

The ethnic categories used in this data

This data uses the standardised ethnic groups based on the 2011 Census.

Asian/Asian British:

  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Chinese
  • Any other Asian background

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British:

  • African
  • Caribbean
  • Any other Black/African/Caribbean background

Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups:

  • White and Black Caribbean
  • White and Black African
  • White and Asian
  • Any other Mixed/Multiple ethnic background

White:

  • English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British
  • Irish
  • Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller
  • Any other White background

Other ethnic group:

  • Arab
  • Any other ethnic group

2. By ethnicity

Percentage of new social housing lettings, by ethnicity and type of referral
Ethnicity Tenant applied direct Nominated by local housing authority Internal transfer Referred by local authority housing department Social services Voluntary agency Police, probation, prison Other social landlord Other
% % % % % % % % %
All 46.3 25.4 12.5 4.5 2.8 1.4 0.7 0.5 6.0
Asian 45.0 26.6 10.1 4.1 3.0 2.4 0.8 0.7 7.4
Bangladeshi 44.6 30.9 11.7 2.2 2.0 1.6 0.8 0.5 5.6
Chinese 42.3 26.6 11.9 5.9 4.7 1.2 0.0 0.9 6.5
Indian 41.6 24.8 10.2 5.1 3.2 3.2 1.4 0.6 9.8
Pakistani 43.6 27.1 8.4 4.8 3.3 3.3 1.0 0.9 7.7
Asian other 48.2 24.2 10.4 3.9 3.2 1.8 0.4 0.6 7.2
Black 41.3 23.9 13.5 5.0 3.3 2.7 0.7 0.7 9.0
Black African 42.8 24.9 12.0 4.6 3.1 2.9 0.4 0.6 8.7
Black Caribbean 36.3 25.0 14.1 6.0 4.0 2.6 1.1 0.8 10.1
Black other 46.6 18.1 17.8 4.1 2.5 2.1 0.7 0.7 7.4
Mixed 39.1 28.3 10.8 6.4 3.7 2.2 1.0 0.7 7.7
Mixed White/Asian 35.5 29.5 11.3 7.9 4.1 1.4 1.5 0.7 8.0
Mixed White/Black African 44.3 27.6 10.9 5.3 2.9 1.7 0.6 0.6 6.0
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 36.9 28.1 11.8 7.1 3.5 3.0 1.0 0.7 8.0
Mixed other 41.6 28.6 9.0 5.3 4.2 1.5 0.8 0.9 8.1
White 47.0 25.5 12.6 4.4 2.7 1.2 0.7 0.4 5.5
White British 46.8 25.3 12.8 4.5 2.7 1.2 0.7 0.4 5.5
White Irish 39.5 20.4 15.5 6.8 3.6 2.2 1.0 0.5 10.5
White Gypsy/Traveller 44.2 27.4 10.0 5.6 2.4 2.4 withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 6.7
White other 51.1 29.3 8.6 2.4 1.7 1.1 0.2 0.3 5.4
Other 50.1 19.0 9.8 5.1 3.0 1.5 0.4 0.7 10.3
Arab 44.5 20.8 10.7 5.9 3.0 1.6 0.7 0.5 12.2
Any other 54.1 17.7 9.1 4.5 3.0 1.4 0.3 0.9 9.0

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in every ethnic group, the most common route into social housing in 2017/18 was applying directly (at 46.3% of all new lettings)
  • the second most common route was being nominated by a local housing authority (at 25.4% of all new lettings)
  • in every ethnic group, these 2 routes into social housing accounted for more than half of all new lettings
  • for households in the Other White ethnic group, 80.4% of new lettings came through these 2 routes (the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups)
  • out of all ethnic groups, Mixed White and Asian households were least likely to get a new social housing letting by applying directly (at 35.5% of their total lettings), and those from the Any Other ethnic group were most likely to (at 54.1% of their total lettings)

3. By ethnicity over time

Percentage of new social housing lettings, by ethnicity and type of referral over time
Tenant applied direct Nominated by local housing authority Internal transfer Referred by local authority housing department Social services Voluntary agency Police, probation, prison Other social landlord Other
Ethnicity 2015/16 % 2016/17 % 2017/18 % 2015/16 % 2016/17 % 2017/18 % 2015/16 % 2016/17 % 2017/18 % 2015/16 % 2016/17 % 2017/18 % 2015/16 % 2016/17 % 2017/18 % 2015/16 % 2016/17 % 2017/18 % 2015/16 % 2016/17 % 2017/18 % 2015/16 % 2016/17 % 2017/18 % 2015/16 % 2016/17 % 2017/18 %
All 43.8 45.5 46.3 25.7 24.9 25.4 13.2 12.8 12.5 4.9 4.9 4.5 2.7 2.9 2.8 1.8 1.5 1.4 1.3 0.9 0.7 0.5 0.5 0.5 6.2 6.2 6.0
Asian 40.2 43.4 45.0 28.9 27.0 26.6 10.6 10.1 10.1 4.3 4.2 4.1 2.7 3.2 3.0 3.6 2.9 2.4 1.6 1.0 0.8 0.7 0.5 0.7 7.6 7.6 7.4
Bangladeshi 35.4 41.5 44.6 38.6 32.9 30.9 13.4 11.7 11.7 2.9 3.1 2.2 2.0 2.5 2.0 2.0 1.9 1.6 0.8 0.6 0.8 0.4 0.5 0.5 4.6 5.2 5.6
Chinese 41.0 41.3 42.3 28.5 29.7 26.6 14.5 11.3 11.9 3.0 3.4 5.9 1.6 3.6 4.7 1.3 1.9 1.2 0.0 0.5 0.0 1.0 0.6 0.9 9.2 7.9 6.5
Indian 41.2 41.3 41.6 24.4 24.6 24.8 9.9 10.9 10.2 5.2 5.4 5.1 3.1 4.4 3.2 3.8 3.0 3.2 2.1 1.1 1.4 0.6 0.2 0.6 9.6 9.0 9.8
Pakistani 41.6 43.4 43.6 26.1 26.2 27.1 8.4 8.9 8.4 4.2 4.5 4.8 2.8 2.5 3.3 5.2 4.1 3.3 2.7 1.8 1.0 0.7 0.5 0.9 8.4 8.0 7.7
Asian other 41.7 46.4 48.2 27.4 24.9 24.2 10.9 9.8 10.4 5.2 4.2 3.9 2.9 3.6 3.2 3.1 2.1 1.8 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.8 0.6 0.6 7.4 7.9 7.2
Black 37.4 40.2 41.3 26.6 23.4 23.9 13.8 13.5 13.5 5.5 5.8 5.0 2.5 2.8 3.3 3.1 2.8 2.7 1.2 0.9 0.7 0.8 0.8 0.7 9.1 9.8 9.0
Black African 40.0 42.4 42.8 27.9 24.7 24.9 12.1 12.2 12.0 5.0 5.3 4.6 2.0 2.3 3.1 3.3 2.8 2.9 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.9 0.7 0.6 8.2 9.2 8.7
Black Caribbean 31.5 34.7 36.3 27.0 23.6 25.0 14.6 14.4 14.1 6.8 6.9 6.0 3.2 3.5 4.0 3.3 3.3 2.6 2.1 1.6 1.1 0.9 1.0 0.8 10.6 11.0 10.1
Black other 42.6 45.1 46.6 20.2 17.8 18.1 18.2 16.6 17.8 4.4 5.3 4.1 2.5 2.8 2.5 2.0 1.8 2.1 1.4 0.8 0.7 0.4 0.5 0.7 8.3 9.3 7.4
Mixed 36.3 39.2 39.1 28.5 26.1 28.3 10.7 10.6 10.8 6.8 7.0 6.4 3.0 3.3 3.7 3.0 2.8 2.2 1.9 1.4 1.0 0.8 0.8 0.7 8.9 8.9 7.7
Mixed White/Asian 37.8 40.0 35.5 30.0 25.3 29.5 10.5 9.6 11.3 7.3 8.2 7.9 2.3 3.2 4.1 2.8 3.0 1.4 1.1 1.4 1.5 0.4 0.9 0.7 7.8 8.5 8.0
Mixed White/Black African 39.8 41.9 44.3 25.9 24.6 27.6 12.0 12.1 10.9 5.1 5.7 5.3 2.2 3.3 2.9 2.7 2.4 1.7 1.7 0.5 0.6 1.0 0.4 0.6 9.6 9.0 6.0
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 34.1 36.6 36.9 27.0 26.0 28.1 11.3 10.7 11.8 7.5 7.8 7.1 3.6 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.2 3.0 2.6 1.8 1.0 0.8 0.9 0.7 9.5 9.6 8.0
Mixed other 37.4 42.2 41.6 32.7 27.6 28.6 8.8 9.8 9.0 6.3 5.6 5.3 2.9 3.0 4.2 2.3 2.3 1.5 1.0 1.1 0.8 1.0 0.8 0.9 7.6 7.5 8.1
White 44.7 46.2 47.0 25.5 24.9 25.5 13.5 13.1 12.6 4.8 4.8 4.4 2.7 2.8 2.7 1.5 1.3 1.2 1.3 0.8 0.7 0.5 0.5 0.4 5.7 5.6 5.5
White British 44.5 46.1 46.8 25.3 24.8 25.3 13.7 13.3 12.8 4.9 4.8 4.5 2.7 2.9 2.7 1.5 1.3 1.2 1.3 0.9 0.7 0.5 0.4 0.4 5.7 5.6 5.5
White Irish 36.1 37.8 39.5 18.7 19.4 20.4 17.6 15.4 15.5 6.6 7.2 6.8 3.8 2.8 3.6 3.8 3.1 2.2 2.4 1.7 1.0 0.9 1.0 0.5 10.1 11.6 10.5
White Gypsy/Traveller 35.6 37.9 44.2 33.6 25.6 27.4 7.6 14.4 10.0 6.4 7.0 5.6 2.8 3.3 2.4 3.6 2.3 2.4 1.7 1.7 withheld to protect confidentiality 1.7 0.5 withheld to protect confidentiality 7.0 7.4 6.7
White other 50.1 51.0 51.1 29.7 29.0 29.3 8.5 8.3 8.6 2.5 2.9 2.4 1.6 1.8 1.7 1.5 1.1 1.1 0.4 0.4 0.2 0.4 0.4 0.3 5.2 5.0 5.4
Other 46.8 47.2 50.1 20.3 20.9 19.0 10.7 9.4 9.8 5.4 4.6 5.1 3.0 3.5 3.0 3.7 3.0 1.5 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.8 0.5 0.7 8.5 10.3 10.3
Arab 40.7 39.8 44.5 23.1 21.3 20.8 10.5 10.3 10.7 7.5 5.4 5.9 3.2 4.6 3.0 4.2 3.9 1.6 0.7 0.1 0.7 0.7 0.5 0.5 9.5 14.3 12.2
Any other 49.3 50.2 54.1 19.2 20.8 17.7 10.8 9.0 9.1 4.5 4.3 4.5 2.9 3.1 3.0 3.5 2.6 1.4 0.9 0.8 0.3 0.9 0.5 0.9 8.1 8.6 9.0

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • between 2015/16 and 2017/18, the most common routes into social housing in every ethnic group were applying directly and being nominated by a local housing authority
  • in every ethnic group except Mixed White and Asian, the percentage of households entering social housing after applying directly increased in the same period, and the percentage being referred by police, probation or prison services decreased or stayed the same
  • in 2017/18, the Mixed White and Asian group were the least likely out of all ethnic groups to enter social housing after apply directly (35.5%), falling below the Black Caribbean group for the first time since 2015/16

4. Methodology

The three main types of housing tenure in England are:

  • owner occupiers
  • private renters
  • social renters

This data refers to new lettings to social renters only.

The data is based on the data collected from social housing providers via the online Continuous Recording of Lettings and Sales in Social Housing in England (CORE) system. Some questions on the CORE questionnaire are not compulsory. In particular, data on household characteristics (age, sex, economic status, ethnicity and nationality) may not be available to the housing officer or may be refused by the tenant.

The totals for new lettings used in this data differ from other published totals for new lettings, as this data does not use estimated data for ethnicity and excludes those where ethnicity was refused.

Information on lettings of social housing in England is provided by local authorities and private registered providers (previously known as housing associations). Information about the tenancy, the tenants and the property is collected by data providers each time there is a new letting of a social housing property.

Weighting:

Weighting is used to adjust the results of a survey to make them representative of the population and improve their accuracy.

For example, a survey which contains 25% females and 75% males will not accurately reflect the views of the general population which we know is around 50% male and 50% female.

Data here has been weighted at the national level, but not at the regional or local authority area level. Weights are calculated for groups of similar local authorities, where these groups are defined by the Office of National Statistics UK area classifications, and they are based on the comparison with data from another Department for Communities and Local Government source on social housing data (Local Authority Housing Statistics).

For further information on weighting, see the Quality Report (PDF).

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Values of 1 or 2 have been suppressed, mainly to avoid possible risk of disclosure. This is consistent with the way the confidentiality of data within the Continuous Recording (CORE) system is maintained.

The CORE system records information anonymously and maintains absolute confidentiality on tenants’ circumstances. Access to record-level information is only available through a licence agreement.

Further information on CORE disclosure practices can be found on the CORE website.

Rounding

Percentages have been rounded to 1 decimal place. Due to rounding, some totals may not add up to 100%.

Quality and methodology information

5. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The aim of Continuous Recording of Lettings and Sales in Social Housing in England (CORE) is to provide information about new social housing lettings, sales, tenants and buyers across England.

This information is used by government bodies and organisations to inform social housing funding, regulatory and housing policy decisions.

6. Download the data

Different routes into social housing - Spreadsheet (csv) 22 KB

This files contains the following: Measure, Time, Time_type, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_type, Source of Referral, Value, Numerator