Let's end social housing stereotypes
Social housing tenants from across the country have travelled to the House of Commons to meet MPs about Benefit to Society. The campaign aims to change public perceptions about who lives in social housing.
A national survey showed that more than 90% of social housing tenants feel they are portrayed in a negative way and they are asking their elected representatives to take action.
The social media campaign #BenefitToSociety will also be launched on Wednesday 28 February. Bolton at Home will join other housing providers to profile some of the real and untold stories of social housing tenants, help to redress the balance of coverage and challenge unfair stereotypes that impact on individuals and communities.
Suzanne Walmsley is a Bolton at Home tenant supporting the campaign. She is also a student social worker, currently doing a masters, and Chair of the Parents, Teachers and Friends Association at Harwood Meadows Primary School.
Suzanne lives with her husband and three children in Breightmet and feels it is wrong how tenants are stereotyped in the media. She said: “People living in social housing are often portrayed as not wanting to do well for themselves and because of this, the stigma now exists in everyday life.
“My family and I have felt looked down-upon at times for living in social housing and, when no offense was intended, people have assumed that our children have needed extra help with their development.
“However, we have every reason to be proud of living in social housing and it has helped us bounce back from difficult times.”
Suzanne and her family have got involved in training, environmental projects and back to work services running from Breightmet UCAN Centre; and community activities including the Breightmet Scarecrow Festival, theatre trips and community film showings.
“All of this shows that being a social housing tenant is definitely not a bad thing, no matter what they portray in the media. If anything, it has made us who we are.” Suzanne added.
More information about the national campaign is available at www.benefittosociety.co.uk or by following #BenefitToSociety on Twitter.
As part of the campaign, we will post a series of short films on Facebook and Twitter to profile our recent Stars of the community award winners and their positive impacts within the communities they live or work.