Brokenshire to stamp out ‘poor doors’

Brokenshire to stamp out ‘poor doors’

13:34 PM, 22nd July 2019, About 4 years ago 22

Text Size

New measures to tackle stigma and help end the segregation of social housing residents in mixed-tenure developments have been unveiled by Communities Secretary James Brokenshire. The move aims to stamp out so-called “poor doors” where entrances for social housing residents stigmatise and divide them from other residents in the development and other forms of segregation, such as restrictions on access to playgrounds.

This month marks 100 years since the advent of social housing, but a new survey today (20 July 2019) reveals nearly a quarter of people would “feel uncomfortable” living close to council and housing association properties.

Under the measures, planning guidance will be toughened up and a new Design Manual will promote best practice in inclusive design. They form a part of the government’s new Communities Framework, which lays out a vision for building communities with a stronger sense of belonging and shared prosperity.

It also commits the government to leading a ‘national conversation’ with communities across the country after Brexit about the type of country we want to be.

Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:

“I’ve been appalled by stories of segregation and tenants being denied access to certain shared facilities such as playgrounds.

“Social housing has transformed the lives of millions of people over the past 100 years. It has the power to continually shape lives for the better, but we need to see residents being treated with the respect they deserve. We want to end that real sense of stigma social housing residents have experienced, and today’s new measures show our commitment to stamping it out, before it can begin.”

In March, it was reported that social housing residents at the Baylis Old School site in Lambeth, south London, were prevented from accessing a communal playground which could only be used by their wealthier neighbours.

The new Design Manual will set clear expectations for the inclusivity of future developments and help ensure planning decisions promote social interaction in communities.

The new survey, the first-ever detailed research on public attitudes to social housing, shows a generational divide in attitudes, with older people less likely to feel comfortable living close to council and housing association properties. 38% of over 65s reported feeling comfortable, compared to 53% of 18 to 25-year-olds.

As part of the government’s engagement with social housing residents before and after publication of the Social Housing Green Paper, residents raised stigma as a key issue facing them. The new measures follow the publication of this Green Paper, which made clear our commitment to tackling this issue.


Dylan Morris

9:42 AM, 23rd July 2019, About 4 years ago

Better still why not just build council estates like we used to .......everybody seemed happy enough. (I was brought up in a council house and seemed fine to me). Of course that wouldn’t be diverse enough or PC today.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

10:18 AM, 23rd July 2019, About 4 years ago

When we were buying our BTL properties, most of them are ex-LA homes. However a stigma "Once a council, always a council" was always present and will always be. The division will always exist. No matter what the Government is saying and/or trying to intervene. Sad but true, particularly on South East

Jo Westlake

10:24 AM, 23rd July 2019, About 4 years ago

If real world rent was charged there wouldn't be any stigma to living in Social Housing? Anyone on a low income would receive Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to help pay. Why should anyone earning proper money get subsidised housing (especially if it makes them feel in any way stigmatized)?
Surely charging closer to market rent would promote feelings of equality among tenants and provide the Housing Associations with ample money to maintain existing housing to a high standard and build more housing.

Dennis Leverett

11:01 AM, 23rd July 2019, About 4 years ago

A factual observation. I've lived in a lovely small Suffolk village for about 10 years now with a few council houses scattered around. One reason I moved here was because it was as good as crime free and had a good pub. Most of the original old school council house tenants have now passed on, bless them, and the council houses are now being used as emergency housing. In the last year local crime has become a big problem with lots of break ins including attempts at my place and in the past couple of months we have had two police raids, both to council houses with armed police involved, one had 11 police cars parked up the road from me. The other day the police arrived and had to taser one of the tenants who was in the street with a machete wanting to kill his father. The local pub has changed hands three times in the last year and is no longer a pleasant place to go because now used by local yobbo's and their mates. A huge increase in rubbish scattered around and the other day there were 40 odd beer cans in the entrance to one of the bridal paths. All provable crimes have been attributed to these "emergency" tenants who never seem to get locked up but most wearing tags. Two of the families in the council houses are several generation of not interested in working. Who wants to live next door to these kind of people. I was brought up on a small council estate of about 40 houses in the 50's and then everyone helped each other with the odd exception of course and it wasn't a bad life. What's the answer? I have no idea.

Ian Narbeth

11:03 AM, 23rd July 2019, About 4 years ago

Paradoxically, policies like this may lead to fewer social houses being built. Let me explain why. When planning consent is applied for developers include a viability study to show how much if any social housing the scheme can support. In many cases the social housing has negative value to the developer and is disposed of to a housing association at effectively a loss.
Planners and social engineers think it is a good thing to "pepper-pot" social housing among open market housing. Having common entrances so that the banker shares the entrance and the lift with the busker and the lawyer with the laundryman is likely to devalue the property in the banker's and lawyer's eyes.
This has the effect (although this is sometimes disputed) of reducing the value of the open market housing. This in turn affects the viability of the overall scheme. The developer can then argue (and win at appeal if the Council don't agree) that the percentage of social housing should be reduced.

Dylan Morris

11:38 AM, 23rd July 2019, About 4 years ago

Although it’s not PC to say this these days, people really do like to live amongst their own groups, whether that’s race, religion or income. A “nice” area is one which has a higher valued housing stock purchased by those with better jobs and higher incomes. Nicer people who have better standards generally (and I mean generally) are those with better incomes. A wealthy area has less crime and is better looked after, due to the quality of the people living there. A lawyer is generally less likely to start leaving litter, spray graffiti, have a garden full of car exhausts and tyres than a person lower down the social scale. People requiring social housing are mostly in socio-economic groups C, D and E whereas better areas it’s those in B and C1. Just biology at the end of the day. The left leaning establishment is trying socially and racially to engineer something different to what our biology is telling us. (Apologies for telling it like it is.)

Luke P

11:55 AM, 23rd July 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Dylan Morris at 23/07/2019 - 11:38
Agree entirely. You cannot force people (especially those with the money and therefore choice) to live where they do not want, for whatever reason. I want to live amongst people who also keep the exterior of their property in good order, remember to take their bins back in and live to a 'normal' schedule.

Dennis Leverett

12:30 PM, 23rd July 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 23/07/2019 - 11:55
Exactly, I am happy to mix with anyone and do as long as there is respect all round. I can't take my Grandchildren up the local pub for lunch anymore, the language, behaviour and food is bad now and I'm not of an age where I feel safe to speak up, would have done a few years ago. Again, its the same old story, these lefties just don't get it. I bet Polly Neate or Brockenshire wouldn't want to live next door to one of the crims now in our village!!

Appalled Landlord

12:46 PM, 23rd July 2019, About 4 years ago

More end of term socialism from Brokenshire.

The BBC’s article about it revealed that Labour’s Mayor Sadiq Khan was the source of this plan, and even provided the verb to describe their synthetic horror at this social apartheid.

“Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said he had been "appalled" by the examples of segregation he had seen.”

“London Mayor Sadiq Khan promised during his election campaign in 2015 to ban the practice, describing it as an "appalling form of social segregation".

"Poor doors segregate people who are living side by side, they drive a wedge between our communities," he said at the time.

You can listen to some social tenants complaining of unfairness. One uses the “rich people’s” lift if somebody leaves the gate open between the two buildings. If he is told off he says take me to court.

One said that if the social tenants did not pay their rent, the other building would not be there.

Once a week “protesters calling themselves “Class War” caused a disturbance. A class warrior with a loud hailer shouted “One door for all”

Old Mrs Landlord

21:46 PM, 23rd July 2019, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Dennis Leverett at 23/07/2019 - 11:01
I think the difference is when you and Dylan Morris were brought up on a council estate most of the families had two parents, at least one of whom was in employment, albeit low paid. This is no longer the case, partly because of changes in societal norms and partly because of the demise of traditional heavy industry and other low-skill manual employment. Today council estates house single (or claiming to be single) female headed households and long-term unemployed families, some with two or more generations who have nothing to do all day but cause trouble or perhaps seek to blur the realities of their unfulfilled lives with drink or drugs.

1 2 3

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now