TAROE Trust would like to raise awareness of an important research publication that has been published this week which explores issues around stigmatisation in the regulated housing sector.
The research – which TAROE Trust directly contributed to – highlights the complex nature of how stigma arises and how a range of solutions might need to be employed to tackle it.
We are particularly pleased to see how the need for a national platform for tenants voices to have influence over policy making features in the recommendations of the report, and how the combination of recommendations should lead to the regulated sector becoming a “sector of choice”. The main recommendations from the report are:
- Government needs to adopt a rights based approach to housing which views access to affordable housing as a fundamental human right. Taking housing as a fundamental human right seriously would entail a complete rethink of the purpose of social housing and more particularly:
i. Move them away from policies of residualization of social housing and the promotion of home ownership as a more superior tenure than renting.
ii. Create an environment to address the acute shortage of safe and affordable housing, which has been used as a tool to stigmatize social housing residents. There is a need for investment in social housing to drive significant increase in social housing stock.
b) Politicians need to stop their use of stigmatizing language and rhetoric in relation to social housing.
c) Recognize the intersection of social housing stigma with other stigmas and develop policy measures, which take a holistic approach to challenging stigma.
2. The social housing sector need to:
a) Create a strong tenant voice at national, regional and local levels.
b) Redesign the regulatory and governance arrangements of social housing providers to make social housing providers more accountable to tenants.
a) Balanced and fairer reporting of social housing
Access to the full report is available here.