Research kicks off on social impact of BTR developments

The new research involves carrying out a comprehensive investigation to evaluate the social impact of Build to Rent developments.

The Quality of Life Foundation kick off new research around the impact Build to Rent developments have on residents and communities | BTR News

The Quality of Life Foundation have kicked off new research that will evaluate the social impact of Build to Rent developments on both residents and local communities.

Working with Build to Rent providers – Get Living, Greystar, Long Harbour and Way of Life – the research will carry out post-occupancy evaluations that explore residents’ lived experiences of their homes and neighbourhoods, and the impact on local stakeholders and neighbours.  

“Get Living has been investing in the UK’s Build to Rent sector for over a decade and with four new neighbourhoods opening in 2024, we feel it is imperative to support this industry research to deepen our understanding of social impact and opportunities for our residents and communities.

“We also hope the research will help a wider stakeholder audience to recognise the social value that build to rent developments can deliver across the UK and will provide baseline for measuring social value metrics.

Ailish Christian West, COO, Get Living

This new research is important as there is an urgent need to scrutinise the social implications of housing developments, as affordability concerns increase and whilst we’re in the cost-of-living crisis. As Build to Rent has huge potential to deliver the much-needed homes we need across the UK, the sector has a vital role to play in tackling the housing crisis.

“This research project represents a pivotal step in our ongoing commitment to enhancing quality of life across the housing spectrum. By collaborating with diverse stakeholders and engaging with residents about their lived experience, we hope to create a deeper understanding of the role different types of housing delivery can have in creating positive change. Exploring these questions with the Build to Rent sector will provide important insights from which we can all learn.”

Matthew Morgan, Director, Quality of Life Foundation

By carrying out this research, the Quality of Life Foundation hope to better understand the role of the Build to Rent sector, whilst also paying particular attention to the impacts the sector has on the quality of life of the people who live in and around Build to Rent developments.

“This project is timely. Now more than ever housing delivery is about more than bricks and mortar, we need to deliver projects that will deliver social value to local communities. Many working on the delivery of Build to Rent developments understand and can see first-hand its value. But as an industry, we must capture this and ensure stakeholders both local and national realise the vital contribution the sector can make to help solve the housing crisis. We are delighted to be working collaboratively with key industry partners on this much-needed report.”

Theo Plowman, Assistant Director, BPF

The research aims to:

  • Build the evidence base around the social impact of living in and around Build to Rent developments on residents and local communities.
  • Assess the social value of Build to Rent by providing a baseline for social value through outcomes defined through the Quality of Life Framework.
  • Provide better understanding of residents’ lived experience.
  • Provide evidence to inform policy-making for local and national government, alongside insights useful to development, stewardship and sales.

“Greystar’s ESG strategy is an integral element of being a trusted housing provider, a great employer, and a meaningful member of the communities across the world in which we operate. The Social aspect of our ESG framework aims to promote positive impacts for our team members, residents, and communities. We hope this research will provide a deeper understanding of the way our communities live so that we can optimise Build to Rent living.”

Philip Hirst, Director – Sustainability, Greystar