Demonisation of social housing tenants is a very real thing and one that has caused me a great deal of stress over the past eighteen months.I've lived in social housing since the late seventies - I have always worked, have never claimed housing benefit. I rarely call on the HA services, prefering to fix things myself if I can.
I planted the garden, decorated, took the council to court when they left a leaking roof for 12 years, took them to court again when they failed to fix the house in the time allotted - called in English Heritage when the contractors ripped out original features. Got compensation for contractors stealing my furniture. Have a leak again that has taken 12 weeks and ten letters but has not been fixed. Have live, wet electric sockets.
Two of my children were born in the house. I would have bought in RTB but it has always been too expensive.
I love the house, have taken great care of it, when the council and now HA seem to want it to fall down, or burn down. Since this government came along I have felt like a low life, scrounging off the state. My sense of stablility has disappeared, my desire to think of the house as my home is fading fast. I don't know what will happen to me and my family as I get older but I no longer feel safe.
And yet I see empty homes everywhere, I have countless luxury £350 per week properties being built around me, devlopers who don't seem to meet with any obstacles for planning.
The demonisation of social housing tenants feels very, very real to me.