Poor, no prospects: a private view of social tenants
Most private sector owners or renters view social housing tenants as poor with little prospect of improving their circumstances, according to a new poll.
Social housing tenant Andy Hughes conducted his own survey of 500 homeowners and private sector tenants between August and October 2007 across Lincoln, Grimsby, Nottingham, Liverpool and Leeds.
He found that 385 of 500 people believed that social housing tenants would be on income support or job seekers' allowance. A total of 207 thought that tenants would not work at all if given the choice. And 376 said that social housing was most likely to be found on a council housing estate rather than blended into mixed-tenure developments.
Mr Hughes said his survey showed that private owners and renters had a poor opinion of people in the social rented sector. 'People think you're the lowest of the low if you live in social housing,' he said. 'For instance, people associate drugs and anti-social behaviour with social housing.'
Mr Hughes said he carried out the study to discover who was responsible for attaching the stigma to social tenants.
The people he interviewed believed that social housing occupants had little or no prospect of moving out, had very little choice over being in social housing, were unemployed and in some cases, were unemployable, he added.