We welcome today’s announcement that Theresa May has called for end to social housing ‘stigma’ as she pledges £2bn for new homes.
However, we need to recognise the reasons for the stigma that many social housing tenants face on a daily basis. The reduction in numbers of properties has meant that fewer people now have direct experience of social housing and increasingly it is seen as a tenure of last choice and as a safety net.
This view of social housing has in the past been reflected in media programming, recognised in ‘poverty porn’ but through our research we know that Social housing tenants have a very different perspective and their narrative shows the value of community in their local area and of their volunteering, caring and work.
Earlier this year the NUJ launched the Fair press guide, encouraging media outlets to consider the facts and see the real stories of people and their community to put an end to negative stereotypes of social housing tenants.
We recognise that changing perceptions must also start within the housing sector, so far over 30 Housing providers have made a commitment to tackle stigma where they see it, challenge the behaviours and conversations of staff and stakeholders as well as the general public.
We look forward to engaging with the government on putting an end to negative stereotypes of social housing tenants
Time to see the person!