Racing Welfare Launches a National Housing Needs Survey for the Horseracing Industry

04 Aug 15

Racing Homes, Racing Welfare’s housing association, has commissioned Cambridge University’s Centre for Housing and Planning Research (CCHPR) to conduct a national housing needs survey. The aim of the research is to identify the levels of welfare-driven housing requirements currently being experienced within the racing industry.

It has been long-acknowledged that the lack of good quality affordable housing is a major concern for the racing industry. A review undertaken by the BHA in 2013 identified that housing persists as a key issue for the industry with 69% of respondents highlighting that the lack of affordable housing was a major welfare issue for staff. These findings are reflected in Racing Welfare’s day to day work, with housing being the number one presenting issue across the country.

Racing Homes’ Head of Housing, Keith Bovill, explains:

“Since the Donoghue Report in 2004 Racing Welfare has delivered an additional 36 units of accommodation for racing staff including young person’s schemes in Lambourn, Middleham and Malton. The results of this National Housing Needs Survey will be of great importance, not only in informing our own internal housing strategy, but also serving as a tool to open up meaningful dialogue in how best to address this wider racing-industry issue. We want to encourage as many current and former racing staff, from across the country, to participate in completing the online survey.”

The majority of the funding for this research project is being provided by The Racing Foundation and the project has encouraged wide spread involvement and support from key industry stakeholders.

The survey can be completed online by following this link:

Alternatively you can use your smartphone to scan this QR code:

QR code

The survey is anonymous and there is a prize draw for people who take part.

If you have any questions about the research, please contact Keith Bovill at Racing Homes on 01638 560763 or Dr Gemma Burgess at Cambridge University on 01223 764547.

Press Contact: Rachel Cawley [email protected] ; 01638 560763



Notes to editors:

1. The 9-month project will include:

  • Desktop review of existing evidence and literature, including previous studies of housing need among racing staff.
  • Survey of racing staff, via email, telephone calls, face-to-face interviews and yard/stud visits. The research project includes provision for identifying housing need for the breeding industry and retired staff but its main focus is on the six key racing centres – Newmarket, Lambourn, Malton, Middleham, Epsom and the South West.
  • Interviews with key stakeholders (BHA, industry employers and organisations) to ascertain their views about problems and areas most affected. Interviews will also be conducted with Local Planning Authorities and Housing Associations regarding ways to meet needs and to discuss potential partnerships.
  • Analysis of current housing need, including industry demographics and forward projection.
  • Recommendations about meeting need.
  • Overall analysis to produce a report with executive summary and key findings.

2. Racing Welfare is a UK-wide charity whose headquarters are in Newmarket. It serves the needs of racing personnel from the beginning of their careers through to retirement. The wide range of help provided includes provision of affordable housing, mentoring schemes for young workers, advice for those coping with illness and disabilities; through to specialist advice and support at times of need or personal crisis.