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23.07.19

Brokenshire reveals new measures to stamp out ‘poor doors’ segregation

The government has pledged to ban “poor doors” to help end the segregation of social housing residents in mixed-housing developments in future builds.

Communities secretary James Brokenshire announced the measures to “tackle the stigma” and stamp out ‘poor doors’ which separate social and private housing tenants.

Brokenshire said he had “been appalled by stories of segregation,” and a recent survey revealed nearly a quarter of people would feel ‘more uncomfortable’ living close to council and housing association properties.

READ MORE: Investment in ‘new generation’ of social housing could generate £320bn for economy

The government says poor doors, where entrances for social housing divide them from other residents in the building or development, will be stamped out, as will other forms of segregation, such as restrictions on access to playgrounds.

In one case in March, social housing residents at the Baylis Old School site in Lambeth were reportedly prevented from accessing a communal playground which “could only be used by their wealthier neighbours.”

The new Design Manual will set out clear expectations for the inclusivity of future developments.

READ MORE: Social housing green paper only small step compared to ‘huge need’ for affordable homes, LGA says

Brokenshire said: “I’ve been appalled by stories of segregation and tenants being denied access to certain shared facilities such as playgrounds.

“Social housing has transformed the lives of millions of people over the past 100 years. It has the power to continually shape lives for the better, but we need to see residents being treated with the respect they deserve.

“We want to end that real sense of stigma social housing residents have experienced, and today’s new measures show our commitment to stamping it out, before it can begin.”

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