The 'See the
Person'Campaign has launched a report
into research that shows around eight out of ten people who rent
their home from a council or housing association have experienced
negative stereotypes about tenants.
699 people who live in social housing took part in an online
survey carried out by the 'See the Person' Campaign
representatives. Participants were from across the country. The
survey was undertaken in response to a request from the Ministry of
Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG).
The research found that most people who live in social housing
have direct experience of negative stereotypes and stigma and that
this has an impact on their lives and the lives of neighbours,
family and friends.
The main source of this stigma were comments, assumptions and
discriminatory attitudes experienced by those in the community and
institutions. The media and politicians were also mentioned as
common sources of stigma, but worryingly social housing landlords
were also seen as a source.
The research findings highlight the impact of stigma at three
- Personal impact
- Community impact
- Societal impact
The report makes a number of recommendations to Government,
politicians and to those who work in the media. But the report also
makes three specific recommendations to social landlords:
- Accept that social landlords can sometimes be part of the
problem and instead become part of the solution. Stop using
language about "turning lives around" and statistics that
- Work with staff to develop a relationship of mutual respect
with tenants and challenge where there is inappropriate language or
views about tenants.
- Get involved with the 'See the Person' Campaign which is
developing a toolkit for landlords, by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARCH is a sponsor of the 'See the Person' Campaign and ARCH
Tenant Group member Martyn Lund from Kettering Borough Council
currently chairs the Campaign's Tenant Leadership
Speaking on the launch of the report, Martyn said:
"We are asking the Government, asking politicians, asking
the media and asking social landlords to take action.
We've gathered evidence that people experience this locally:
from neighbours, sometimes family and employers. This is on top of
the stereotypes perpetuated by some parts of the media, by some
politicians and by some landlords.
The impact of this is huge. It wears you down, it affects your
mental health, your feelings of belonging and your dignity. Recent
news has shown that it can lead to segregated neighbourhoods and
even to intimidating behaviour against people.
I'm passionate about the 'See the Person' campaign because
there is stigma everywhere you look. People are being put down for
the place they live, which is just plain wrong. We need to see the
person, not for where they live. Get to know them first before you
Read the full report: "The experience and impact
of stigma of living in social housing: views of tenants across