This year's British Social Attitudes Survey confirms the strength in the aspiration for home ownership. 86% of us would like to be home owners. Reasons include the "freedom to do what you want", to have "something to pass on to your children" that it offers greater security and that it is a good investment.
So far as as the alternative tenure of Social Housing is concerned the main advantage is regarded as the right to buy. Only 19% support building more social housing.
What is regraded as the disadvantage of living in Social Housing.
The report says:
Strikingly, when it comes to specifying the main disadvantage of social housing compared with private renting, much the most common reply is “anti-social behaviour problems on estates”. This is cited by 39 per cent of all respondents, including 31 per cent of social renters themselves. Another seven per cent across all tenures select “anti-social neighbours”.
Taken together, these replies suggest that approaching half the population, and a large minority of social housing tenants, see anti-social behaviour and neighbour nuisance as the main drawback to renting from a local authority or housing association. This is despite the evidence from researchers in the late-2000s that the quality of social housing had improved and that heavy concentrations of social disadvantage had begun to recede (Fitzpatrick and Stephens, 2008), albeit with continuing difficulties in some areas (Hill, 2007).
However, the continued prominence of anti-social behaviour issues in political debate about social housing is, given the strength of public opinion in our survey, unsurprising.
I've knocked on enough doors in enough tower blocks to believe that, whatever the academics may say, the problem is a reality.