I work for Derwent Living and I could tell you all about what I do, how I feel proud to be working in such an important and undervalued sector – which is certainly the case. Instead I’ll speak from the other end of the spectrum, as a former tenant of social housing for nearly my entire childhood.
We didn’t own a house, my parents having split when I was two years old and selling their property. Social housing gave us stability that renting privately couldn’t. After several years of being moved from pillar to post, it gave me a home, a place where I could feel safe and where I could grow as an individual.
Living in council housing didn’t make us bad people, although some kids at school used to say very hurtful things about us. My mother has worked hard all her adult life. My brothers have worked hard all their adult lives. I got a job when I was 16 years old, studied hard during employment and was lucky enough to go to university a few years later.
Now I work at Derwent Living, helping to provide homes for other families, other individuals. Helping people is something that makes me very happy and I am lucky that my job means I get to do this on a daily basis. With homelessness and poverty in the UK on the rise, there is nothing more important than affordable housing and the safety net that it provides.
There is a stigma attached to social housing and the people who rely on it, and that has to change. That’s why we want to champion social housing and why we’re backing the Homes for Britain campaign and Housing Day, to show people that it is a valuable and worthwhile asset to UK housing.
And that’s why we’ll be sharing our thoughts on why we’re proud to work in social housing. Why not do the same and share your story for #HousingDay? Or if you’re a social housing tenant, why not tell us what your home means to you?