Aylesbury Estate, Southwark, photo Robin Stott/CC, photo Robin Stott/CC

Aylesbury Estate, Southwark, photo Robin Stott/CC, photo Robin Stott/CC   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

The Guardian recently reported that a ‘social landlord’ threatened a tenant for speaking to the press about segregated facilities for social tenants and private tenants in the same housing block. Social housing tenants had to use the stairs as the lift only stopped on floors with privately owned flats. The social tenant’s wife was heavily pregnant.

Reportedly, his housing association, Southern Housing, would not let him sign a permanent tenancy and warned him he would be monitored for six months. And if the landlord was not ‘satisfied’, he and his family could lose their home.

It is often claimed that mixed tenure developments mean mixed communities, but some social landlords seem keener on pleasing developers and investors than creating genuine mixed communities.

Many tenants of housing associations complain that they are not listened to or are threatened. Housing association workers, organised in the Unite housing branch, also point to aggressive management and attacks on union rights.

Housing association residents are organising in individual associations and linking together those workers through SHAC – a network of housing association and coop tenants supported by the Unite housing branch.