Since the 1990s social housing has been losing ground to private renting while damaging stereotypes around social housing tenants have taken hold, particularly in the last decade.
Ninety per cent of social housing tenants point the blame at the media for exploiting such stereotypes, citing judgemental media programming, such as Benefits Street and Council House Crackdown, which specifically link tenure and benefit status together.
However, long before the decline in social housing numbers and unwanted media coverage, stigma had started to develop around social housing. The growing perception that social housing was often badly constructed and increasingly used to house low income households from slum clearance areas, was equally responsible for allowing the stigma to take hold.
Not only is this bleak perception of social housing off the mark, it overshadows the very purpose of social housing, the reality being that social housing acts as a crucial safety net for many people in times of austerity and hardship.
The very fact of the Social Housing Green Paper is therefore a stark and welcome change but the responsibility to turn the current perception on its head falls heavy on the providers of social housing.
At Radian our Community Involvement team is working hard to challenge this stigma head on and recently finished filming for the Benefit to Society See The Person campaign, which seeks to combat the stigma by showing the person behind it.
During November and December, we filmed customers in their place of work or in their home, following the same structure of the Benefit to Society campaign.
Meet our residents: