When choosing a new place to live, how safe it is will likely be a big factor. Unsafe neighbourhoods have been linked to greater feelings of unease, anxiety and even poor health outcomes. This week, we’re looking at what social housing residents in the UK believe could change in their neighbourhoods for them to feel safer and how you can include important information about your sense of safety and community in your HomeSwapper advert.
In the Neighbourhoods & Communities survey, lots of people responded to the questions that related to safety, especially the question that asked, ‘What could change in neighbourhoods to make them feel safer?’. This showed that whether people felt safe in their neighbourhoods or not, they had plenty of suggestions for housing providers and planners.
- 40% of those that took the survey felt that they lived in a safe neighbourhood
- 60% were unable to say that they lived in a safe neighbourhood
- 34% felt unsafe in their neighbourhood
- Feelings of safety increased with age; people under 35 felt significantly less safe than those over 55
What could change?
The most popular changes that people wanted to see in neighbourhoods to make them feel safer were:
- Increases in community policing
- Addressing problems related to the misuse and dealing of drugs
- Improving lighting in neighbourhoods and housing
- Reliable CCTV operating in neighbourhoods
What else is important?
People also said that their neighbourhoods could feel safer if there were more activities available for young people. This was really important to hear, as at least 763 youth clubs have closed since 2012, leaving a hole in services for young people.
Another popular issue was addressing speeding and traffic problems near housing. Other people suggested that housing providers should take a more careful approach to new residents being placed in communities and make sure extra support is given to those who may need it.
“Bringing a community together always improves safety.”
Some neighbourhoods are doing just fine
On a positive note, about 1 in 10 people said that ‘nothing’ needed to change in their neighbourhoods, suggesting that they feel safe enough.
What’s important for swapping a home?
How safe a neighbourhood is could really influence whether a person wants to live there. If you feel safe in your neighbourhood, why not explain your reasons in your home’s description? You could let people know that the area has an active Neighbourhood Watch for example, or that there’s very little traffic so children can play outside safely.
Sometimes, the look of a neighbourhood may be deceiving, but you might know that beyond that first impression, the community is close and friendly. That’s really important information! Potential swaps may want to know that they’ll be able to make easy connections in a new area.
In fact, the results from the Neighbourhoods & Communities survey found that those who felt a sense of belonging to their community were over 3 times more likely to say that they felt safe than those who did not. Through your description, give a good idea of your experience living in an area and the type of community you’re a part of.
For more tips on writing a great advert description for your home, just click here.
The full Neighbourhoods & Communities report is out now and ready for you to read it here!
The HomeSwapper Customer Support team are always on hand to give advice and tips on how to get the most from HomeSwapper. They deal with Swappers every day and have a unique insight and view on the thousands of successful swaps that take place on HomeSwapper.