A national campaign has been launched to deal with the stigmas and myths that are perpetuated around social housing, especially in the media. This campaign, Benefit to Society, is sponsored by 26 housing associations across the country and has helped social housing tenants produce a report to help journalists and other media workers to report fairly on social housing issues.
Many people believe that social housing is only for those on benefits or unemployed, that social housing is full of ‘undesirables’ and that new social housing is badly built and ruins the look of a town or village. Because of these misconceptions, new social housing developments often receive a lot of hostility and opposition at the planning stage, especially in rural areas such as Devon.
In addition, people on average incomes often don’t realise that they are eligible for social housing as they think they earn too much to qualify, especially if they are in a household with two people working full time. However, a household (individual, couple or family) can now earn up to £80,000 a year and still qualify for a low cost home ownership property such as a shared ownership or discounted market home.
The Rural Housing Enablers at Devon Communities Together are supporting this campaign and have put together a leaflet which includes case studies, information around common social housing myths and photographs of recently completed affordable housing schemes in Devon. The RHEs will distribute these leaflets when attending Parish Council meetings and other local events to ensure that the message reaches as many people as possible.
Please click here to view the leaflet.
Much of the RHEs’ work consists of liaising with local people where affordable housing schemes are planned and it is important that misconceptions about affordable rural housing do not hinder these schemes or prevent local people from applying for the new homes. We work closely with housing associations, Parish Councils, Local Authorities and community groups to help promote affordable housing and to ensure that local people who cannot afford to buy or rent an open market property are able to apply for these homes.
Below are photographs of 2 affordable housing schemes completed by our partners which show the high standard of new affordable homes which are built to blend in with local architecture and are now indistinguishable from open market homes.
New affordable homes Hemyock Hastoe Housing Association
New affordable homes Thoverton LiveWest Housing Association