Branded as the housing of last choice

An interesting debate on Twitter, well as much as you can have one there, on social housing as a brand stemming from an article by Tom Murtha called Social Housing a force for good.

The article is right that social housing IS indeed a force for good and I have written scores of similar pieces which say social housing is in terms of renting the best model, the best product, the best service and all at the best price, which it is.  Further that social housing with rents on average half those of private rents means social tenants CAN afford to take up employment opportunities as they need less in wages than a private tenant, or if you will the private tenant is far MORE welfare dependent than the social tenant.  I even put forward an argument the ‘subsidy’ it receives actually saves every taxpayer about £170 per year in tax too.

But of course none of those obvious arguments are ever said and instead social housing professionals argue over whether it is a brand or not – a totally fatuous and irrelevant argument.

If it IS a brand then those within have failed to sell that brand.

If it IS NOT a brand then those within have failed to sell that brand.

Oh and I thought it was a movement is then piped up too.

It is like finding a cure for the common cold and then failing to market it such is the sheer incompetence of those within housing.  Yes that’s not pleasing to read or for me to write but its true unfortunately.  There is still not one body or lobby that represents social housing and lobbied for it (FFS!)

The issue is that no one has ever sold and promoted social housing and because of that it has been branded by the general public as the housing of last choice.

Social housing and the social housing model is dying as nobody has ever promoted or sold its huge economic and social benefits, end of!

The social housing ‘professional’ can deflect all they like with fatuous discussion over branding, its time they saw the wood from the trees and starting selling what it actually is…..the best product and best service at the best price that saves the government, the employer and the individual taxpayer a fortune each year.


8 thoughts on “Branded as the housing of last choice

  1. I think we are saying the same thing in different ways Joe. I was not arguing about a brand or otherwise but against those who not only failed to sell social housing but actively denigrate it’s obvious merits. I have always protec social housing and those of us in SHOUT will continue to do so. I know you feel that we are “pissing” in the wind but at least we are “pissing”. I have said many times that all of my large and diverse extended family live in social housing. To them it is simply a home and s bloody good one.

  2. Yes we are saying the same – that the social housing model needs to be SHOUTed out.

    Above I am simply saying that the ‘sector’ has failed to promote itself and what it is and failed miserably for decades. They missed the obverse of RTB which was merely renting was a second class option and instead focused on the misery and shortfall that RTB and lack of replacement meant.

    Where we strongly disagree is in the merits of SHOUT, HousingDay etc.

    Firstly, any campaign needs to be national and have the full support, including funding, of all social landlords.
    Secondly, selling the ECONOMIC merits of the model is the content and that has been hugely ignored by the sector itself.
    Thirdly, it needs to be sold to (a) government and (b) the general public – yet SHOUT et al have an internal and within housing focus which is preaching to the converted and achieves nothing.

    Finally two housing issues will be on the GE agenda – house prices (not rents) and the bedroom tax. House prices always an election issue but the bedroom tax should see the sector adopt a lessons learnt approach.

    In Feb 2013 the policy had 70%+ support from the public now it has 70%+ against it. Why? Because the general public KNOW about this social housing policy and issue and because its perniciousness has been sold to the general public and kept in the public eye – something no social housing issue ever achieves. It has been a simple campaign (q.v. build enough social housing WITHIN A GENERATION!) as most voters and MPs only care about the next ten minutes and such long-term policies are not worth the paper they are written on.

    TELL the general public that social housing SAVES them money, that it is hugely ECONOMICALLY beneficial to the country at large and to employers and to THEM and they will eventually believe it and not believe the poverty porn of Benefit Street and social housing being the housign of last choice which they have been fed avariciously and repeatedly

    1. There is not even ONE lobby which does promote these generic economic and social benefits of social housing. It is utter madness and utter business madness and in no other sector does this happen. Where there’s a will there’s a way it is said, I’m doubting whether there is even the will as few recognise the problem of NOT selling and do not take the argument seriously Tom.

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