Vulnerable households going into social housing

The main facts and figures show that:

  • in 2016/17, there were 334,602 new social housing lettings in England, and the ethnicity of the main tenant was known for 318,150 (95.1%) of them
  • 28% of new social housing lettings where ethnicity was known were granted to vulnerable households with a priority need (90,482 lettings)
  • overall, 36.4% of vulnerable households were given priority due to homelessness, 25.0% for medical reasons, 21.4% due to living in unsanitary or unsatisfactory conditions, 14.4% for hardship, and 2.8% for more than one of these reasons
  • for all ethnic groups except the Bangladeshi group, the most likely reason for a vulnerable household being given priority for social housing was homelessness
  • for Bangladeshi households, the most likely reason for being given priority for social housing was living in unsanitary, unsatisfactory or overcrowded conditions
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 334,602 new lettings in 2016/17. The ethnicity of the main tenant was known for 318,150 of these new lettings (95.1%), and refused or missing for 16,452 lettings (4.9%).

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.

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).

What the data measures

This data measures the number and percentage of new lettings in social housing given to vulnerable households. Local authorities must give ‘reasonable preference’ for social housing to certain households with a priority need for new accommodation.

The data is broken down by the ethnicity and priority need category of the household.

The priority need categories group vulnerable households according to whether:

  • they need to move to a particular location in the district of the housing authority, where failure to meet that need would cause hardship
  • they are homeless
  • the local authority has a duty to house them in settled accommodation because they are unintentionally homeless and in a priority need category
  • they're accepted as unintentionally homeless, not in priority need and provided with accommodation at the council’s discretion
  • they are in unsanitary or overcrowded housing, or otherwise living in unsatisfactory housing conditions
  • they need to move for medical reasons or for their well-being, including reasons relating to a disability

They have been grouped into 5 categories in the tables and charts:

  • hardship
  • homelessness
  • insanitary/unsatisfactory housing
  • medical welfare
  • multiple (more than one need)

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 2016/17. CORE is a complete census of new social housing lettings, which records:

  • social housing lettings
  • affordable housing lettings
  • sales by private registered providers
The ethnic categories used in this data

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

White:

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

Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups:

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

Asian/Asian British:

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

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British:

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

Other ethnic group:

  • Arab
  • Any other ethnic group

Ethnic groups and how data on ethnicity is collected

Vulnerable households going into social housing by ethnicity and type of priority need

Percentage and number of new lettings within each ethnic group by priority need

Hardship Homelessness Insanitary/Unsatisfactory Housing Medical Welfare Multiple reasons
Ethnicity % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number
All 14.4 13,001 36.4 32,957 21.4 19,400 25.0 22,618 2.8 2,507
Asian 12.4 665 40.7 2,181 28.6 1,531 14.3 763 4.0 213
Bangladeshi 9.4 131 29.8 415 46.5 648 10.1 141 4.1 57
Chinese 21.3 31 36.2 52 22.6 33 17.6 25 2.3 3
Indian 12.9 101 39.5 309 24.1 189 20.9 164 2.6 21
Pakistani 14.1 241 47.8 812 20.1 342 13.5 229 4.5 77
Asian other 12.1 161 44.4 592 24.0 320 15.3 204 4.1 55
Black 11.9 913 42.7 3,266 26.6 2,039 12.6 964 6.2 475
Black African 11.7 501 44.9 1,925 27.0 1,159 10.3 442 6.1 262
Black Caribbean 13.2 301 40.3 923 23.9 548 17.2 393 5.4 122
Black other 10.2 111 38.7 417 30.8 332 11.9 129 8.3 90
Mixed 14.8 444 43.4 1,305 23.1 695 14.0 421 4.7 141
Mixed White/Asian 20.1 76 41.8 158 20.3 77 13.2 50 4.6 18
Mixed White/Black African 14.1 72 39.1 200 27.8 142 15.3 78 3.7 19
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 14.1 202 45.4 651 22.1 316 13.1 188 5.3 75
Mixed other 13.7 94 43.3 296 23.5 160 15.3 104 4.2 29
White 14.5 10,478 35.0 25,272 20.4 14,702 27.9 20,184 2.2 1,607
White British 14.6 9,931 34.7 23,548 19.9 13,484 28.8 19,541 2.1 1,392
White Irish 15.2 77 34.4 175 18.9 96 26.8 137 4.6 24
White Gypsy/Traveller 13.4 22 31.9 52 24.2 39 16.9 28 13.6 22
White other 12.2 447 40.7 1,497 29.5 1,083 13.0 478 4.6 169
Other 22.5 502 42.0 934 19.4 432 12.8 285 3.2 72
Arab 16.8 110 49.6 324 18.9 124 11.2 73 3.5 23
Any other 24.9 391 38.8 610 19.6 308 13.5 212 3.1 49

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • overall, 36.4% of vulnerable households were given a new social housing letting due to homelessness, 25.0% for medical welfare, 21.4% for living in unsanitary or unsatisfactory conditions, 14.4% for hardship, and 2.8% for more than one of these reasons.
  • for all ethnic groups except the Bangladeshi group, the most likely reason for being given priority for social housing was homelessness
  • 49.6% of Arab households were given priority because of homelessness, the highest percentage of any ethnic group
  • for Bangladeshi households, the most likely reason was the need to move out of unsanitary, unsatisfactory or overcrowded conditions, accounting for 46.5% of lettings to vulnerable households
    • there were no large changes for ethnic groups between 2015/16 and 2016/17

Methodology

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 providers via the on-line Continuous Recording of Lettings and Sales in Social Housing in England (CORE) system. CORE was first set up in 1989 and initially only required private registered providers (PRPs) to submit social housing lettings and sales information to support the government’s regulatory function. CORE’s remit expanded in 2004 to include local authority information.

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 differs 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 Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government source on social housing data (Local Authority Housing Statistics).

Due to the weighting of the data, some counts may not have been made using whole numbers. There is therefore a small discrepancy between the total number of new social housing lettings awarded to vulnerable households where ethnicity was known (90,482) and the total you get when you add up the counts of lettings for all ‘type of priority need’ shown in our data (90,483).

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 (PDF).

Rounding

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

Quality and methodology information

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.

Download the data

Vulnerable households living in social housing - Spreadsheet (csv) 10 KB

This files contains the following: Measure, Time, Time_type, Ethnicity, Ethnicity_type, Reasonable Preference, Value, Numerator