Tenant or owner, we are all residents
I found your editorial, ‘What’s in a name?’ (Inside Housing, 14 November), of great interest.
I believe that the commonly used title, tenants’ and residents’ association, creates an artificial separation within the term ‘resident’; an own goal is scored by tenants who agree to or choose that description for their association.
I have seen papers that openly speak of ‘problems between tenants and residents’. Other papers by their wording indicate that in the mind of the author tenants are seen as different to residents, a sub-prime class perhaps?
Who are ‘residents’? Well the simple answer is we are all residents. I reside in my flat in leafy Bournville as a tenant of a housing association and across the road the retired academic resides in his owner-occupied bungalow.
My concerns about the neighbourhood are shared with my fellow residents irrespective of differing tenures. Equally my interests in relation to my tenancy are shared with my fellow tenants as are those that affect the wider tenant population.
For a long time I have been trying to get fellow tenants and housing professionals to recognise that when we use the terms tenant and resident, we misuse the English language and reinforce the stigmatisation of social housing.
Cyril Bezant, housing association board member and Audit Commission tenant inspection advisor