This paper explores the impact of a social service – social housing – on people’s wellbeing. It does this by using a novel method to link administrative records and survey data.
The analysis identifies two key findings. Given the experimental nature of this analysis and data limitations, both findings should be treated with caution:
- Housing conditions generally improve for people placed in social housing. Both mould/damp and crowding conditions improve with placement in social housing. There is some more limited evidence that social housing placement reduces the proportion of people who rate their household condition as ‘poor’. However, there was no improvement for whether the house is cold.
- Life satisfaction improves for people placed in social housing. Survey respondents were asked to rate their life satisfaction on a five-point scale, and people score higher on this measure after social housing placement. No evidence was found for changes in other wellbeing outcomes, such as feeling unsafe walking at night.