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#HousingDay – Tom’s story

Created on Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
by Tom Hill

Tom Hill is man with many strings to his bow, but none make him more proud than his work in the housing sector. Here he tells us why.

I’m proud to work in an organisation that is focussed on providing affordable housing for those in society who most need it.  Over the last 30 years I’ve worked in jobs as diverse as freelance copywriter and photographer, HGV truck driver, employment agency manager and university lecturer.  In all that time I’ve never worked anywhere that makes me feel as ‘useful’ as I do here at Derwent Living.

The reason for this is simple. Whilst it would be absurd to pretend that a world economy could run without the concept of ‘profit’, it depends where that profit goes that’s most important to me.

The profit that I help to generate for Derwent Living goes straight back into helping to provide affordable homes for those in society who can least afford them. I’ve been extremely lucky throughout my working life, never to have been long term unemployed, never been disabled nor discriminated against for the colour of my skin, religious beliefs, nor my sexuality. But that has happened, and continues to happen, to many thousands of people every day. Such discrimination often leads to low pay, or an existence reliant on benefits.

I feel that it’s the duty of those who can afford to pay their taxes to do so in the knowledge that, hopefully, their money will be spent on a welfare society that protects the vulnerable and the powerless. I am in the truly privileged position of being employed by an affordable housing association. When I can see, on a month to month basis, residents and tenants e-mailing, ‘tweeting’ and posting positive Facebook comments about having a safe place to live and call home, I feel that perhaps I really made a difference today: maybe a microscopic but nevertheless positive contribution to the common good.

Karl Marx once famously wrote that an equal society should operate on the following basis:

“From each according to their ability, to each according to their need”.

I think that working for Derwent Living channels the results of my abilities towards those who can benefit from them. That makes me quite proud.

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