How tenure-blind design can help chip away at social housing stigma

james zamchick

‘Poor doors’ can reinforce segregation based on economic status, but there are often good reasons why affordable housing is kept separate from market sale homes. This circle can be squared, writes James Zamchick

Many years ago, I was leading a new homes sales team when one Friday a customer, who had recently moved into their new apartment, came into my office to make a complaint.

They began talking about their new neighbour in the apartment next door. There had been no disagreement with the neighbour, however. The problem, to my dismay, was that they claimed they had been “mis-sold” their property because the apartment next door was social housing and this would “affect the future value” of their property.

I was more than a little taken aback. I knew that stigma around social housing existed, but this complaint was the most overt and direct display I had experienced in my property career.

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