As a Socially Housed tenant (24 years) with many many people contacting me since I set up a support group for us who feel devalued over the last decade or so, simply due to our housing status, I have struggled with being made to feel 2nd class for the last 8 or so years.
Far from being able to be proud about our homes we are now barraged daily with bad publicity / media sensationalism around the socially, mentally & financially inferior “Social Housing” Asbo generation.
I never had a problem with people knowing my status until the last few years as immediately upon finding out that my (Let me add, well kept, re-modelled, decorated, fully paid for by me) house is not owned by me but by a Housing Association – I am tarred with the “Second-class” brush.
This is not just by society, this is in law also.
We do not have the same rights as private owners – in fact if you live in a property that is identical to one which has been sold via right-to-buy (even if it is next door/above), you are immediately disadvantaged.
This is not even due to benefits! Although I feel for those who are on benefits as if there was a worse than second-class, I am ashamed to say, that would be it right now!
The premise of Social Housing was for Low to middle income earners to have a safe secure home that they could afford.
Now Social Housing is just an avenue for over exuberant policy makers to try & mould this populace (underbelly) into the society they want. We’ve seen a Stealth Discrimination of making Social Housing only available recently to the most desperate – via points systems etc… Again fuelling the belief that this is where the most disadvantaged & vulnerable should be kept!
Followed by a disparity in laws so great that Social Housing tenants can suffer years of recorded abuse at the hands of private owners with NO RESPITE – yet one wrong word (yes word) & a socially housed tenant risks eviction for breach of tenancy!
I for one don’t wish to see the back of Social Housing – However I do wish to see it back to where it should be – affordable housing for those who deserve it, those who show willingness to care for it, pay towards it (if they can) and respect it.
I also wish to see a day when your housing status isn’t taken as an indication of your moral, financial, educational worth (or lack thereof) – where we don’t need constant “help” from our landlords!
We want to live in peaceful enjoyment of our homes – not under a barrage of laws….
I would like to see someone who has lived in Social Housing get a chance to tell some MP’s Policy makers how they have affected some of our lives..