I’m old, sick or disabled…where do I live?

In Social Housing of course!!

Private rented housing doesn’t do sheltered housing or adapted housing for those disabled!

Yes a simple question and a bloody obvious answer so: –

  • Why is the social rented sector (SRS) always being compared to the private rented sector (PRS) when their nature is as different as chalk and cheese?
  • Why does the SRS not get that message out there to the general public that if the SRS did not house the elderly, the infirm, the sick, the disabled then they would have nowhere to live at all?

Social housing know thyself!

The SRS allowing itself to be compared with the PRS takes many forms for example:-

  • Social tenants are welfare dependent as a greater number of SRS tenants are on Housing Benefit.

Yet that is only because the pensioner and the sick and disabled don’t have the option of living anywhere else

I could write tens of thousands of similar points yet it all comes down to two simple matters.

Firstly, social housing does not have a voice and not one single body speaks on its behalf

Secondly, that lack of a single voice allows the general public to castigate and deride social housing by perpetuating the myth that all social tenants are scum / feckless / layabouts / ne’er do wells.

How that manifests is seen below in a classic and unfortunately all too typical comment that even more regrettably is the norm for the general public.  It is a comment under an online article about how Wigan and Leigh Housing the former Wigan Council housing department has seen the bedroom tax lead to an increase in arrears and evictions – a common issue across all social landlords with the bedroom tax.


The comment above is commonplace under any online article about the bedroom tax or the welfare reforms in general.  Joe Public thinks the social tenant is a layabout, a benefit scrounging piece of scum.  Social landlords and the social housing ‘sector’ may rant all day about this is the product of Benefit Street and other TV programming.

Yet it is not.  Social housing’s reputation has been in the gutter for decades, the housing of last choice and even pre-dates the Thatcherite notion of a property owning democracy with the massive sell off of council housing under right to buy.

The fault for social housing – which is the cheapest, highest quality, most in demand form of rented housing – having its reputation in the gutter is the lazy bone idle incompetent landlords who have failed to promote that best product and best service at the best price.

Know thyself social housing and stop blaming the latest incarnation of the social housing myth that you who work in social housing have irresponsibly ALLOWED to fester unchallenged.

Know Thyself was the keystone at the Oracle in Delphi yet for social housing its more like the keystone cops!





8 thoughts on “I’m old, sick or disabled…where do I live?

  1. Disabled people DO live in the private rented sector and furthermore are encountering severe difficulties due to the changes to LHA introduced first under Labour and extended under the current government.

    No less than 1 in 4 LHA claimants are disabled (written parliamentary response from Lord Mckenzie). 2 in 3 claimants have a shortfall between their LHA and their rent.

    I strongly recommend reading the recent government note from December 2013 “Housing Benefit: Under occupation in the Private sector”. This covers the difficulties faced by disabled people in the private sector following the imposition of the size criteria and the inadequacies of DHPs. It then leads on to the extension of this to the social sector in the form of the Bedroom tax, despite the known and extensive problems the size criteria scheme had caused. Unsurprisingly the same issues have arisen.

    In summary, thanks to these policies disabled people have nowhere to turn.

  2. Thanks sad that it is even more relevant today but great that you can draw on this historical comment to say that a social purpose is to house all not to cherry pick and grow empires.

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