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To ask if councils/HA's see some areas as "dumping grounds"

16 replies

unlimiteddilutingjuice · 26/09/2018 11:12

The few streets I grew up on were known locally to be a "dumping ground" for problem tenants.
As in, people believed that the council had a deliberate policy of concentrating difficult people in that part of the estate.
Since then, I've lived in other towns and noticed this is a fairly common belief. A lot of places have an area that local people consider is deliberately used for containment.
If you work in social housing: Is this a real thing that actually happens?
It just popped into my head, reading another thread and, (even though I totally believed it at the time) in retrospect it seems a bit unlikely that there was an actual policy to this effect.

OP posts:
Racecardriver · 26/09/2018 11:14

Is it possibly just that most people don't want to live in these places so only bad tenennats with no other options end up there?

TheFifthKey · 26/09/2018 11:15

I guess it’ll be the result of a few factors - housing that wouldn’t be anyone’s first choice, leading to more desperate/vulnerable people moving there, then the area being attractive to certain families or friendship groups as people like to live near each other, residents who aren’t part of the group choosing to move elsewhere as a result...this happens in all areas to a certain extent except sometimes to a more seemingly “positive” end (upward mobility). Birds of a feather flock together, as they say.

Thighofrelief · 26/09/2018 11:28

I've noticed that certain housing has more of one type of person than another. For example one particular nationality or ethnicity or MH issues. I can't believe HAs would select according to race so perhaps it's self selection with people following others. They might select due to MH or other vulnerability for higher support levels.

Omeletteandbeans · 26/09/2018 11:32

I don't work in this area but used to live near some dodgy flats and was involved in the community council there for a while. What seems to happen is that because they have a terrible reputation the only people who get housed there are really desperate for a roof over their heads and can't wait for anything better to come up. In practice this means people with long term substance abuse issues, people who've been evicted elsewhere for being awful, and single mums fleeing domestic abuse. The mums move on as soon as they get back on their feet, leaving the addicts and the people who don't care. As a result the flats continue to be a shit place to live and have a bad reputation.

There are long term plans to rehouse everyone and pull them down to be replaced with family housing, but until that happens it's a self perpetuating cycle. I'm sure it's not a deliberate council policy but I also suspect that housing officers will avoid putting vulnerable people in those flats when they have alternatives.

unlimiteddilutingjuice · 26/09/2018 11:56

"I'm sure it's not a deliberate council policy but I also suspect that housing officers will avoid putting vulnerable people in those flats when they have alternatives."

Yes. That's the most I can actually imagine in terms of council responsibility for the situation.
You get all sorts of rumours though. From the relatively straightforward:
("They put problem tenants there to keep them away from the rest of us") to the downright conspiracy theories: ("They put problem tenants there so no one will oppose demolition")

OP posts:
AmIthatbloodycold · 26/09/2018 12:01

I do know that in my town we do have a specific area that has 24 hours security and is gated. They house released prisoners, known paedophilies and other assorted tenants. Common belief in town is that it protects the rest of us, but it also makes it easier to target services. I do know that council staff have special risk assessments covering repairs and maintenance visits.

13Crows · 26/09/2018 12:08

Many years ago I was renting a council house and wondered why I was so unlucky with all the different neighbours I kept getting in the semi detached next to me. Horrendous problems. Drug dealing, anti social behaviour, noise fighting and arguing 24/7. I used to go and pay my rent every week and the girls behind the counter would ask for the latest developments. Eventually one of them whispered to me to look for somewhere else to live as the house next to mine was unofficially set aside for problem tenants, the worst of the worst. I got out as quick as I could.

Omeletteandbeans · 26/09/2018 12:25

My husband did some policy stuff as part of his degree and likes to bang on about 'street level bureaucrats' theory - basically you can make policy as much as you want at a high level, but what actually happens on the ground is as much up to the working practices of the people who implement it - in this case, housing officers.

In your case 13Crows I think that's appalling - yes even the problem tenants have to be housed somewhere but it shouldn't be up to one blameless neighbour to have to put up with a whole string of shitbags like that.

chillpizza · 26/09/2018 12:36

My theory.

A street has a few problem tenants. The good tenants leave and share their terrible experience, other good tenants then don’t want to move into the area. This leaves those houses sat empty, where those with issues will then ultimately be placed as they are the empty homes. This then proves that the area is horrible and that all the miscreants are placed there on purpose. The cycle continues every city has an area/street or a few areas/streets that are like it.

MondayImInLove · 26/09/2018 12:53

Only considering antisocial behaviour, wouldn’t it make sense to group everybody that displays such behaviour and makes their neighbours lives hell?
Basically: you are a bad neighbour, we’ll give you bad neighbours.

Libertarian · 26/09/2018 13:09

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ems137 · 26/09/2018 13:27

Nowadays most social housing is on a bidding scheme so not many people get placed in an area/house any more.

Before the bidding system, what you have noticed did definitely happen. My aunty applied for a council house after splitting from an abusive husband, she worked and had 2 young children. The housing officer offered her a nice house on a lovely quiet cul-de-sac and said "you seem like a nice family, I won't place you down x or y street (known as rough)"

Now I think what's happened is that maybe the good, quiet and nice tenants wouldn't bid on streets with a bad reputation but there are many people who aren't bothered. Most likely because they'll fit right in or have friends/family who already live down there.

frecklefox · 26/09/2018 14:11

@unlimiteddilutingjuice - yes.

Some district councils prefer HAs to "pepperpot" - i.e. mixing tenants up across the area, but HAs prefer having all the tricky customers in one spot as it's easier from a management POV.

Thighofrelief · 26/09/2018 14:23

When you have a nice, well planned council estate with lifetime tenants people feel almost a pride of ownership. The lifetime tenants hang on to their property for grim death and try to control succession of the property if possible. Or swap with one of their children when the time comes. If there is a large enough concentration of. "good" tenants they will influence any potential miscreants to either conform or move on.

unlimiteddilutingjuice · 26/09/2018 15:13

That's the kind of place I always wanted to grow up Thigh.
And, thankfully, its the kind of place my kids are growing up now.
Its such an amazing thing to me, to let them play out, go trick and treating, hang out at the community centre.
All the stuff that I couldn't do without the risk of violence.

OP posts:
Thighofrelief · 26/09/2018 15:20

Unlimited - that's what I have now too and i love my council house. It's sad that younger people can't have the same level of security. If you don't have secure, quality housing the other areas of your life suffer too.

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