While we await the full details of the Government’s announcement of £2bn additional funding to build more social housing, we hope it signals a real long-term change in policy to see funding back up to previous levels. We are delighted to hear Theresa May acknowledge the importance of the part played by Housing Associations such as VIVID - not only in providing more homes but also in addressing the stigma still surrounding social housing.
Mrs May has recognised what our own research with Birmingham and Manchester Universities has already identified – that the stigma surrounding social housing can best be addressed by creating homes and communities that people are proud to live in, whatever their circumstances. “More homes and bright futures” is the central topic of our own regional Housing Forum in Portsmouth next week, where around 150 of our current and prospective partners will discuss the benefits of joint working to tackle both housing and wellbeing needs.
Mark Perry, Chief Executive of VIVID, said: “Welfare reductions have seen some of our 30,000 customers worse off than they have ever been. If we are going to stop stigmatising those living in social housing we need to provide a welfare system that allows them to live as equals, not under the poverty line. And one that enables those in social housing to enjoy the futures they are entitled to.”