Westward Housing provide social housing to people in North Devon. In a project sponsored by South West Water, Westward Housing wanted to understand the attitude of people in social housing towards debt.
To understand the motivations of people in social housing towards finance, their priorities for expenditure and attitudes towards debt.
The requirement was for in-depth qualitative understanding of resident attitudes and psyche. Through experience we knew that residents in social housing were openly sceptical and reluctant to speak to anyone. Having previously used a similar approach with this target group, Turquoise used senior researchers to go door to door to speak with residents, build rapport and book appointments to subsequently come back and speak in depth.
The research highlighted that while many of the residents in social housing were there because of circumstances beyond their control and wanted and expected to pay their way, there was also a minority cohort of residents who openly refused to pay bills and ‘play the system’. The outputs of the research were used to build targeted messages and communication about debt and raise awareness for the help that was available.