Is housing segregation pitting rich against poor?


Across the country, some housing developers are segregating the less well-off tenants from their wealthier neighbours.

This is often done in housing estates where some flats/houses are for social rent and some are for private rental, but also in developments where some properties are shared ownership homes and some are fully owned.

How are neighbours being segregated?

In one multi-million-pound housing development, the children living in social rented flats are not allowed into the playground used by the other tenants.

At the Vista development in London, residents who do not fully own their own home are not allowed to use the communal garages or gyms.

For those who do not own their homes in the Lighterman development, also in London, they have to use a separate entrance, which, unlike the other entrance, does not have a concierge, a marble desk or soft furnishings.

In a housing block called Legacy House, the elevator only stops on floors which have flats owned by private tenants.

Other examples include the less well-off tenants:

  • Not being allowed on roof gardens
  • Having views of railway tracks instead of pruned lawns
  • Being separated by hedges, fences and gates around the grounds.

Matthew Geer, Campaigns Manager at Turn2us, said:

“The use of ‘poor doors’ and other forms of financial segregation are nothing short of discrimination. The children in the playground of any accommodation shouldn’t know who owns and who rents – nor should it be important.

“These practices risk fuelling resentment between neighbours, increasing tensions and breaking down any sense of community in local areas.

“It is down to housing developers and the councils that approve their plans to make sure this practice has no place in an open and diverse society. People need to be brought together, not separated by different financial circumstances.”