Changing stereotypes story by story

The definition of a stereotype is: ‘A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing…’

stereotype

Have you ever had a preconceived notion about a place, before even going there?

Just because you have heard things about it from others or maybe read something on social media.

Those living in social housing can face negative stereotyping on a daily basis.

I’ve experienced it, you’re talking about your home and the people listening are interested and want to know more, until you mentioned you rent your property from the housing association and before you know it their body language changes… and not in a good way!

I am proud to live in social housing because it provides a safe, affordable home for myself and my daughter.

The reason I’m in social housing is because my life was turned upside down. One minute I was married, renting privately and raising a daughter with two parents.

Then the next day, everything changed and I was a disabled, single mum looking to rebuild mine and my daughters lives.

I could never have predicted what was going to happen but I am grateful for social housing because I now have a beautiful house that we call home.

My story doesn’t just involve stereotyping about where I live but it’s also about my health. Looking at me, you wouldn’t know it but I have an invisible illness (a chronic condition that significantly affects my day to day life).

My invisible illness is Rheumatoid Arthritis and it affects my joints causing a huge amount of pain throughout my body.

The minute I tell people I have rheumatoid arthritis, they form an opinion of what it might be like. Sometimes I’m in a wheelchair, walk with a stick or even unaided but I’m always in pain!

However, unless you get to know me or experience something similar then you will truly never know. There are a wide selection of people living in social housing, each with their own story that needs to be heard.

I’m supporting the ‘Benefit to society’ campaign.

There mission statement is to ‘represent all social housing tenants as a benefit to society’.

As well as the general public, we believe the media, government and the social housing sector itself all need to be challenged in the way they represent social housing tenants.

We need to change negative stereotyping and promote our own positive, true stories.

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