PROVIDERS of social housing in Wales have been urged to tackle the lack of flooring provision in newly let accommodation. Research undertaken jointly by tenants’ body, TPAS Cymru and housing equalities charity, Tai Pawb, uncovered the impact on tenants of living without flooring, in particular on their wellbeing.
Greenstream Flooring CIC, a founding Carpet Recycling UK (CRUK) member, was also involved in the research. The Porth-based social enterprise provides a low-cost, reuse carpet option to housing associations and tenants. It aims to reduce the carbon footprint by reusing unwanted carpet, while also providing much needed flooring to those in need.
Currently, it’s common practice for social landlords to let accommodation without providing furnishings, including carpets or alternative floorcoverings.
The report entitled, ‘FLOORED’, highlighted issues such as a lack of warmth, safety and sound/noise pollution as factors that are affecting the wellbeing of social housing tenants, including breathing difficulties and depression.
In addition, responses from tenants with children highlighted safety issues when living with cold hard concrete or wooden flooring – including splinters – and an increase in loneliness and isolation in not feeling able to invite friends to visit.
However, the survey also identified multiple good practice, including social landlords leaving existing flooring in place where safe and possible through agreements with new tenants. In addition, some social landlords were working with organisations to help tenants secure safe and affordable flooring options. The report contains 10 recommendations for social landlords and Welsh government, TPAS and their partners to follow up on.
Ellen Petts, founder and managing director of Greenstream Flooring CIC, said: ‘Having been involved in social housing for ten years, this report, which includes a comprehensive survey of tenants, is well overdue. Greenstream is delighted to have been able to assist in the research and provide examples of how we’ve been able to help those residents who’ve not been provided with flooring from their social landlord.
‘Greenstream Flooring CIC was set up to not only prevent unwanted carpet being sent to landfill, but also help those in genuine need. By working with social housing organisations, we’re able to provide flooring in bedrooms, living areas and hallways which are supplied to tenants in a basic state; as well as reducing the carbon footprint.
‘I am gratified that this report has been produced and we will be working with as many partners and organisations as we can to ensure that the ten recommendations are taken on board by the Welsh Government and social landlords.’
Greenstream Flooring CIC won the Reuse Member of the Year award for the sixth time in the Carpet Recycling UK 2020 Awards for Good Practice. Its successful take back and reuse of carpet and carpet tiles from construction and refurbishment projects delivers the best environmental option, as well as important social benefits.