FLOORED – The provision of appropriate flooring in social housing in Wales
In 2020, we found that social housing providers didn’t provide new flooring for new tenants, due to the financial cost of new flooring many tenants ended up living without appropriate flooring for a long time having detrimental impacts on their health and wellbeing. This project in partnership with TPAS Cymru seeks to address this.
The FLOORED project started by surveying Housing Associations and Local Authorities on their policies and practices regarding flooring and a survey of tenants about their experiences of flooring. The majority of tenants who responded to the survey did not have carpets or suitable flooring throughout their home. In the overwhelming majority of cases this was due to the cost of purchasing suitable flooring linked to low income/lack of available funds. Although over a third of tenants said there had been flooring in the property when they viewed their prospective home, in most cases this had been removed prior to occupation, despite requesting, in many cases, that it be left.
Using this information a set of recommendations were developed which included;
- Social housing providers to provide grants to tenants to buy their flooring
- Provide the option for tenants to keep existing flooring
- Review Welsh Housing Quality Standards (WHQS) to include the provision of appropriate flooring
You can read the full report and executive summary including survey results and full recommendations here:
Now, in 2023, we are 3 years on. We have launched a new paper to highlight practice among social landlords in both keeping existing flooring within properties as well as providing new flooring. ‘Floored: a practice compendium’ is the culmination of partnership work where social landlords across Wales have shared case studies on piloting and adopting new practice in the provision of flooring.
In the revised Welsh Housing Quality Standards (WHQS) – due to be launched by the end of October – the framework outlines that “at change of tenancy, all habitable rooms… located within the home should have suitable floor coverings”. Under the existing framework – which has been in place since 2002 – there has been no expectation that social housing providers would supply new flooring in areas other than kitchens and bathrooms, meaning many homes have floor coverings removed and are left without a suitable covering when newly-let.
Floored: 3 Years On
Three years on, we have launched a new paper to highlight practice among social landlords in both keeping existing flooring within properties as well as providing new flooring. ‘Floored: a practice compendium’ is the culmination of partnership work where social landlords across Wales have shared case studies on piloting and adopting new practice in the provision of flooring.
- North Wales-based housing association, Clwyd Alyn, has piloted vinyl flooring in void properties before re-letting, fewer empty properties, less anti-social behaviour and an improvement in well-being.
- Monmouthshire Housing Association initially trialed new flooring in newly-let flats; buoyed by positive feedback, including improved tenant satisfaction and quicker turn-around times, the scheme has been rolled-out to all new-lets under its ‘void gold standard’.
- Pobl Group, meanwhile, has gradually increased its pilot from 22 homes to 226 in the last three years, also with positive feedback from tenants and colleagues carrying out neighbourhood roles; where possible, existing flooring is retained for new customers.
- Swansea-based social landlord, Caredig, piloted a ‘Homes not Houses’ scheme and evaluated tenant satisfaction in homes without flooring, with retained flooring and with new flooring, the latter showing a much greater sense of satisfaction. Homes that have benefitted from the scheme have also seen a reduction in rent arrears, repair requests and antisocial behaviour. The pilot has now been formerly adopted and forms part of its pre-tenancy work as standard.
Read FLOORED: 3 Years On here: