Brokenshire to stamp out ‘poor doors’

Brokenshire to stamp out ‘poor doors’

13:34 PM, 22nd July 2019, About 2 years ago 22

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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.



Comments

by Ian Narbeth

10:00 AM, 29th July 2019, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by AP at 27/07/2019 - 08:01"The housing associations does not contribute to the service charge or has their own much smaller service charge to cover the stripped back common facilities to keep the rents at the low affordable levels."
What not a lot of people know is that some housing associations manipulate the system. It is well known that developers artificially depress the level of service charge in the early years of a development (or at least until the last property has been sold) in order to sell the units. Any private buyer who thinks that the service charge is going to stay at sy £300 or £400 a year in real terms is deluding themselves. As soon as any major repair or replacement is required the service charge can be several times the initial low charge.
What some housing associations do is require that their service charges are capped in perpetuity at the initial figure subject to an RPI increase. Now if the HA is responsible for repairing the fabric of its "own" building this is not too bad but it will be obvious that if substantial expenditure is needed on the common parts the HA's percentage contribution will be lower than in previous years. The private sector owners will have to pay more or else the freeholder will have to find the shortfall from its own resources or will become insolvent.

by Dylan Morris

10:23 AM, 29th July 2019, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 29/07/2019 - 10:00
That’s very true Ian thanks for pointing that out. The answer is to build a private site for those that can afford it and a separate housing association development for those on less income. Like it’s always been done in the past. But planning rules won’t allow it in these days of inclusivity. Can’t afford the private block ? then that’s tough, that’s life, stop being a snowflake and buy where you can afford. Or do something about it and get a better job. Simples.


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