Housing (health and wellbeing needs in South Tyneside)

High level priorities

Key priorities for the borough have been identified as:

  1. Prevention of homelessness through comprehensive engagement with the private rented sector landlords and development of pre-eviction protocol.
  2. Provide additional and appropriate older persons specialist accommodation which is care ready and meets the needs of future ageing population.
  3. Improve the quality of the private rented sector and target support following an update of the Stock Condition Survey.
  4. Look to provide suitable housing options and advice for young single households, particularly those who have been impacted on by welfare reform.
  5. Development of housing that meets the needs of the entire population and is affordable.
  6. Address the fuel efficiency of properties throughout the borough through a fuel poverty strategy.
  7. Ensuring council housing meets the Decent Homes Standard and is maintained to a good standard.
  8. Investigate the need for community housing for specific vulnerable groups.
  9. Specialist development or adaptation of properties to meet the increasing need for disabled children or families that have specific housing needs.
  10. Improve hospital discharge and prison release protocol to avoid crisis situations.
  11. Develop an outreach service to support those most excluded groups who are at risk of rough sleeping

Households currently living in Housing Need

  • The residential survey that was undertaken within 2013 is the most up to date source of information the council has on the improvements that may be required to accommodation, as there has not been a stock condition survey undertaken since 2003. Notwithstanding this, the data from this survey is self-complete and not a technical assessment. The results from the survey have been weighted based on locality and tenure and then grossed to represent the entire housing stock of the borough, and to address the issue of an under-representation from the private rented sector.
  • This household survey highlights the need for serious improvements in some homes within the borough, and the need for additional homes that are suitable for those with mobility problems or other needs for adaptations.
  • Housing condition and the level of housing need varies considerably throughout the borough, pockets of poor housing can be found mainly within the urban locations of the borough. The latest Strategic Housing Market Assessment update (2015), which included a household survey from 2013 and an update of secondary sources, highlights that there are currently 2,774 households living in housing need; this equates to 4.1% of households across the borough. The main reasons for households living in need are due to major disrepair or unfitness of the property, households living in overcrowded situation and households containing people with mobility impairment or special needs living in unsuitable accommodation, although again this varies considerably throughout the borough.
  • Properties that have been identified has having repair problems are more likely to be found within Simonside and Rekendyke, Primrose and Bede wards. There is a greater concentration of properties in disrepair within the private rented sector, but issues can also be seen within owner-occupied and social rented sectors.
  • The main reasons for disrepair are centred around windows needing replaced and dampness/mould growth; obviously both of these issues can have a direct impact on residents' health and wellbeing. 40% of those residents who highlighted repair problems could not afford to undertake the repairs.
Strategic Housing Market Assessment Table

Repair problem


% of entire stock
















Cold/heating problems



Dampness/mould growth









Source: Strategic Housing Market Assessment Residential Survey 2013

Affordability ratios

  • Data released from DCLG highlights the ratio of median house prices to median earnings within the borough has increased from 2.48 in 2001 to 4.56 in 2014, although it remains lower than its high of 5.85 in 2007. Figures indicate the significantly lower affordability ratios compared to the national average of 6.72 and marginally lower than the Tyne and Wear average of 4.96. There is a slightly higher ratio of lower quartile house prices to lower quartile income levels of 4.76; which is the opposite to the national and regional ratio which have lower ratios.
  • These figures demonstrate that for those on average incomes in the borough affording to purchase their own home is not a serious problem; notwithstanding this, South Tyneside has a number of households on very low incomes and therefore affordability for these households is a concern. Affordability for those on low incomes entering the housing market within South Tyneside is a greater issue than those on average incomes purchasing median priced accommodation.
  • One of the greatest influences on this relatively low ratio is the high earners for the borough, with higher mean and median earnings than the Tyne and Wear average. Further analysis indicates that households that have two incomes would have few financial barriers to entering the housing ladder, but households who only have one income, very low incomes or are reliant on benefits are likely to need assistance to meeting their housing needs.
  • Over the last six years there has been a 6.06% increase the number of housing benefit claimants within South Tyneside, which is a lower level of increase than the national (13.56%) and regional (11.57%) averages.
  • Over the last three years there have been a number of significant changes in the benefit system, in preparation of universal credit. There has been a significant decrease in households claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), but this is coupled with the increase in Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Taking both of these benefits into account the overall number within the borough has remained relatively static, although more in depth analysis indicates that there has been a decrease in the number of younger households claiming benefits in South Tyneside.
  • The number of households claiming income support in the borough has decreased by 20% within the last 2 years, which has decreased more dramatically within Beacon and Bents and Hebburn Quay wards. Notwithstanding this, the borough remain to have a high level of benefit claimants and a number of households that are solely reliant on the income from the benefits they receive.
  • The level of benefit claimants varies considerably throughout the borough, with significantly higher numbers identified within Rekendyke for both JSA and ESA. There has also been an increase in the borough in benefit sanctions, which again can have significant implications for residents choosing to live a healthy life.
  • This would have a direct impact on the ably for a households to afford their housing costs, and hence the most appropriate housing to meet their needs. Therefore there is likely to remain a need for affordable housing for a number of households in the borough.
  • From the household survey that was conducted in 2013 there are a number of households who are struggling to meet their housing costs; there are 1.2% of the households (846 households) in the borough who are currently in housing need as they cannot afford their housing costs. There is significantly higher proportion of the privately rented tenants that cannot afford their housing costs and are finding themselves in housing need; many of these highlight that they are at risk of losing their home or are in currently arrears.

Households living in overcrowded accommodation

There have been 760 households identified as living in overcrowding housing within the borough. These are more likely to be currently living within social rented housing and be households that contain adult children, or a concealed household. Almost half of those currently living in overcrowded situation would need assistance to find suitable accommodation and would not be able to afford to off-set their housing need themselves. Notwithstanding this, over half of these households feel their home is the current size and are satisfied with their home, despite being overcrowded.