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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Furnished tenancy researchers keen to speak to tenants

Photo of Beyond the Gate staff with Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research team

When someone is granted a new social tenancy, they'll generally need to furnish the property from scratch.  For many, this may just mean moving existing furnishings from another property or a storage centre into their new home.  But, some new tenants will have nothing to put in their new home and this can make settling in incredibly challenging.  

Elaine Batty from Sheffield Hallam University's Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research discusses research which the centre is carrying out on behalf of the Housing Executive into the need for furniture provision for new tenants. Our Beyond the Gate staff have already spoken with Elaine and her colleague Will about how their clients struggle to manage in unfurnished housing.  If you would like to be interviewed as part of this research or know anyone else who would be a suitable interviewee please contact Elaine or Will using the details below.  

In May 2015 the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University and the Council for the Homeless NI were commissioned by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) to assess the need for furniture provision for its new tenants.  The research is being undertaken in three areas; Belfast, Derry/Londonderry and Newry. The aim of the study is to:

  • understand the challenges (or perceived challenges) faced by tenants in starting a new tenancy;
  • the ways in which tenants have or expect to deal with these challenges;
  • the extent to which furniture is an important issue for tenants;
  • the role of furniture beyond financial issues (for instance, does/would having furniture provided lead to greater satisfaction with tenancies);
  • perceptions regarding the role that support on furniture provision might have in improving sustainability of tenancies; and what form support should be provided.

To date we have undertaken a review of existing evidence, together with conducting in-depth interviews with policy and practice experts within the field of furniture provision and tenancy sustainability.

We are also aiming to conduct semi-structured interviews with tenants, including:

  •  (where possible), tenants who have received support from existing support providers
  • (where possible) former tenants of NIHE, whose tenancies failed within two years
  • existing tenants of NIHE who did not receive support with furniture provision (within six months of starting tenancy) to understand the challenges faced in starting a new tenancy, in particular around furniture provision
  • tenants on the NIHE waiting list

We would like to talk to you if you fit into any of the above categories.

If you would like to talk to us about your experiences please contact either Will Eadson 0114 225 4173 or Elaine Batty 0114 225 4519  and we will get straight back to you.

Tagged In

Research, Social Tenancies

This article was written on 19 February 2016. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.