IMPACT OF FUNDING AND COST SAVINGS ON HOUSING IN EALING BOROUGH OF LONDON
The current report aims at analyzing the impact of funding and cost-saving housing strategy on the homelessness crisis prevailing in the Ealing borough and it was compared with the Chiswick borough. It was found from the analysis that the there have been massive improvements in the availability of the affordable households across the boroughs. The homeless and Housing strategy is aimed at preventing homelessness and have achieved the goal of improving the quality and affordability of the households
Aims and objectives
The present research is aimed at analyzing the homeless crisis within the Ealing borough of west London and will be compared with the Chiswick borough. The report also focuses on the government’s view of saving the costs of providing housing to the homeless while improving efficiency.
The present study has used primary qualitative method of data collection. The collected data has been analysed with the help of descriptive statistics and MS-Excel software.
The legislative history of the borough is also discussed in this report. West London comprises of eight boroughs of which Ealing forms the centre. The Ealing Council collaborates with Housing Delivery partners for making public services secure, ensuring security by providing homes and deliver value for money which will be discussed in part one. However, homelessness, drug abuse, and alcohol addiction are prevalent within the Ealing borough. The elder population forms a significant part of Ealing borough which leads to the increased quantity of service users suffering from a long-term illness. The mental health NHS Trust established a partnership with the local providers in primary, secondary and community care to raise standards of services to meet the demands of the population of the Ealing borough.
The Ealing borough is located at North West London and is one of the eight boroughs situated in the area. The Ealing population was found to be 338,449 in the census of 2011 and half the population comprises of females. 49.7% of the total population was born in England, 7.9% occupied by Indians, 2.2% by Muslims and 1.9% by Somalis. The Christians form 43.7% of the total population residing in Ealing borough. In the Ealing borough, the mean age was found to be 35 and the median was found to be fewer than 33. The married people living in the Ealing borough occupies 40% of the total population while 33.8% of the population identify as single. The professionals living in the London borough of Ealing grabs 21% of the total population. According to the 2011 census, the top language spoken in the area is English. The English speaking population forms 66.1% of the total population (Localstats.co.uk, 2019).
The Homeward Ealing was launched on the 1st of October 2015 to meet the objectives of providing quality health and social care services to the people who reside in the Ealing Borough which will be critically analyzed in part 2. However, the government cuts in public funding in the country before the election in 2010 had negatively affected the development in housing strategies for the borough. There was a reduction of 26% in the public funding offered to local authorities (Localstats.co.uk, 2019). The authorities had adopted novel methods to increase investments as a response to government cuts. The New Homes Bonus schemes provide an opportunity which entails that the government provides the additional council tax which for six years after the construction of the home. In order to deal with the homelessness crisis in the borough, the Ealing council adopted the Homelessness strategy and the Housing which showed progress by delivering 1124 homes that are affordable and bringing back 825 properties into use by 2014.
The publishing of homeless and housing strategies lead to the changes in national policies and legislation of the government. This entails the addition of a housing strategy to the sector involved in social housing and reviews of the welfare benefits and planning system. The Localism Act 2011; the Energy Act, 2011 and the Welfare Reform Act, 2011 were included in the new legislation (Baldwin et al. 2016). Moreover, the Strategic Housing Market Assessment, have revealed various issues in the Ealing borough due to changes in demographic observed in Census 2011. The Ealing borough has experienced a loss of population because of outward internal migration. The capacity to afford to house worsened due to increasing low paid jobs. The reduction in public funding by the central government created additional pressure on the services provided by the Ealing Council.
The council has planned to open five new stations in 2019 along Cross-rail that passes through the centre of the Ealing which provides opportunities to build new homes. The Ealing council has partnered with the house delivery organizations to develop a program set aimed at delivering around 3000 homes with mixed tenures in the future (El-Gingihy, 2018).
The Coalition government had abolished the Tenant Services Authority and changed the Housing Associations were changed to Registered Providers from Registered Social Landlords. The funding and regulations of the organization have been taken over by the Homes and Communities Agency which led to various changes to the National Planning Policy framework (Kovářová, 2018). The Welfare reforms have brought about changes to disability benefits and the housing benefits which affected 54% of households. The reform also constrains the annual increases for benefits in the working age to 1% (Localstats.co.uk, 2019).
In an attempt to compare the homelessness crisis prevailing in the Ealing borough of London and the Chiswick borough, a questionnaire with 5 close-ended questions was developed and given to 30 people to answer. The data have been collected in the form of an online questionnaire from 30 respondents residing in the Ealing borough of London. The questionnaire is developed to analyze the cost-saving measures taken to eradicate the issues of homelessness prevailing in the Ealing borough. The respondents are then given the questionnaire with five ratings: strongly agree (SA), agree (A), neutral (N), disagree (D) and strongly disagree (SD). The data was then treated statistically by using statistical methods like such as mean, median, and mode.
Question 1: Do you agree that the homelessness crisis has improved in your borough?
The pie-chart represents that 37% of the respondents strongly agree that the homelessness crisis has improved in the Ealing borough while 13% strongly disagree that there has been any improvement. The mean for this question was found to be 2.53 while the median was found to be 2. This indicates that the respondents agree with the statement that the homeless crisis has improved in the Ealing borough. Chiswick borough is situated in North West London which also deals with the situation of homelessness effectively by using various strategies. There are many organizations in Chiswick providing homeless services and shelters for those who are in need of it. These shelters also provide rehabilitation services to reduce the problems associated with alcoholism and drug addiction. The homeless strategy also brought back around 200 properties into use.
Question 2: Do you agree that the homelessness due to high rents posed on household properties is decreasing?
It can be observed that 33% agree that the homelessness due to the high rents posed on household properties is decreasing and 10% disagree with the decrease in high rent household. The graph also represents that 13% have a neutral opinions on whether the high rents on household properties causing homelessness are reducing or not. The result of the statistical analysis shows the mean rating to be 2.5 while the median to be 2. This implies that respondents agree that the homelessness due to high rents have reduced significantly.
On the contrary, the rent levels are found to be low in the Chiswick borough as compared to the other boroughs in London. The Chiswick borough council has adopted the new house strategy which aims at supporting the residents to afford homes and provide a healthy borough (Paterson and Gregory, 2019). The implementation of housing and homeless strategy in Chiswick has to lead to an increase in households by 13% which is less than the increase in the number of households in Ealing Borough.
Question 3: Do you agree that the number of affordable households has improved?
The pie chart represents that 44% of the total respondents strongly agree that the number of affordable household has increased by the implementation of Housing and homeless Strategy in Ealing borough. On the other hand, 13% of the respondents strongly disagree that affordable households have increased in the Ealing borough. The statistical analysis indicates that the mean is 2.2 while the median is found to be 2. This implies that the respondents agree on an average that a number of the affordable households have improved significantly after the implementation of household and homeless strategy in Ealing borough. On the other hand, the Chiswick Borough Council had also adopted “Laying the Foundation” strategy to provide homes at affordable rent.
Question 4: Do you agree the issue of overcrowding is getting solved?
The above diagram reveals that 40% of the respondents have agreed that the cost-saving mechanisms adopted by the local authorities have to lead to a reduction in overcrowding, while 10% of the population disagree with the issue of overcrowding being reduced. The mean of responses to this question was found to be 2.56 while the median was found to be 2. This implies that the respondents agree on an average that the issue of overcrowding is getting solved due to strategic implementation. On the contrary, the issue of overcrowding in Chiswick borough has increased by 50% as compared with the figures in 2001.
Question 5: Do you agree the authorities are updating technologies to improve the quality of households?
It can be observed from the above graph that 33% of the total respondents agree that the authorities are updating technologies to improve the quality of households while 17% of them have disagreed with it. Among the 30 respondents, 6% have a neutral view of the technologies being updated to improve the quality of households by the local authorities. On the other hand, Chiswick Council has adopted measures to build more sustainable homes to control thermal emission by updating their existing technologies.
After treating the data statistically, it was found out that the cost-saving measures and the improvement in homelessness are positively correlated to each other (Refer to appendix). The correlation value was found to be 0.98 which implies that the cost-saving mechanisms undertaken by the Ealing Council to reduce the homelessness crisis have resulted in a meaningful improvement in the homelessness crisis.
The homelessness crisis in the Ealing borough has increased due to changes in the reforms and reduction in public funding. The Ealing borough has experienced a loss of population because of outward internal migration (Ham and Murray, 2015). The capacity to afford to house worsened due to increasing low paid jobs. The reduction in public funding by the central government created additional pressure on the services provided by the Ealing Council. The Council can collaborate with other organizations to rise funding and investment to provide more homes. They must try to identify new lands to build new homes and utilize the resources efficiently. The issue of overcrowding can be solved by relocating under-occupied households for the households that are overcrowded (Hall et al. 2016). The fuel poverty can be reduced by collaborating with energy providers to promote smart housing in the borough. The adaptation of new technologies will be helpful in enhancing the quality of homes in the Ealing as it will increase the value of assets and lead to a better economy of the company. The houses must build free of hazards to improve the wellbeing of the residents. The local authorities can aim at increasing employment in the area by increasing the number of jobs to the local people so that can afford the housing.
It can be concluded from the above analysis that the homelessness crisis has improved in the present time due to the implementation of housing strategies and homeless strategies. The strategy is aimed at providing a safe borough and increases the affordability of the houses by lowering the rents and providing high paid jobs so that the houses can be afforded. The data analysis reveals that there is a high positive correlation between the improvement in the state of homelessness and the cost-saving mechanisms adopted by the government which was found to be 0.98. The issues of overcrowding and fuel poverty are being tackled through the implementation of strategic programs. The objective of preventing homelessness can be easily met if the council collaborates with other organizations to raise the funds.