UK Politics

Govt pledges to ban ‘poor doors’ which segregate social housing tenants

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By Rebecca Taylor, news reporter

'Poor doors' which separate social and private housing tenants will be banned in future developments, the government has announced.

It comes after a series of scandals in mixed tenure developments, where social housing and private properties exist in the same building, including instances of social tenants being stopped from using communal playgrounds.

Housing and Communities secretary James Brokenshire told Sky News: "We have seen over recent months some quite disturbing examples – where someone because of the property they live in as a sense of segregation.

Image: Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said some examples were disturbing

"Not getting access to playgrounds, or some cases of separate doors to the block you live in because of the type of housing. That cannot be right because it promotes that sense of stigma."

Asked about why it still happens, Mr Brokenshire said: "[It is] how the planning rulebook being adopted and interpreted, it's for councils to make those decisions but that type of decision is not right and so we will be providing clarification to that.

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"That concept of tenure blindness is now being adopted by many developers around the country but there's a challenge of what more we can do.

"I have challenged where I have seen cases of this sort of separation and people have responded to that and to give that clear message of why embedding this is right."

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Mr Brokenshire is launching the communities framework "By deeds and their results: how we will strengthen our communities and nation" pledging to work with people of different groups in England to "build stronger, more empowered and integrated communities".

However, the "national conversation" will not take place until after Brexit.

Once Britain leaves the EU, groups in England will be asked "their view of who we are as a nation, their vision for the future of their community and our country, and what local and national government can do to support their communities to thrive".

A local playground in a housing development in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Image: Playgrounds will also have to be accessible for all residents

The government is also planning to pilot a Civic Deal scheme, where communities will have more control of decisions.

The announcement follows the latest social attitudes survey which found young people are more likely to feel comfortable living next to a social housing complex than older people.

More than half (53%) of those surveyed who were aged bRead More – Source