Housing association advertises home but says “No DSS”

‘Social housing’ giant, the Hyde Group, recently put up an advert for a property in east London which stated “no DSS”.

The property was built as key worker housing in 2009 and is let at 80% market rent.

David Gannicott, from Hyde, told Inside Housing magazine: “To be perfectly honest, it should have been better thought through. The wording is a bit clumsy. What we should have said was [applicants] have to be working households.

“But what we had previously is when we put out these adverts, you get lots of people phoning you up, not realising they are not going to be able to afford it and then grumbling down the line when they are unable to progress their application… We’ve changed the wording now to [accept] working households.”

No-Irish-No-Blacks-No-Dogs_0Clumsy? I think not. Representative of what many housing associations have become? Perhaps so.

To be fair to them, at least they didn’t say “No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs”.  Two steps forward, one step back.


4 thoughts on “Housing association advertises home but says “No DSS”

  1. Why would workers be on DSS? Because of low pay.
    What percentage of people on DSS are also working households? Over 90% of new claims for housing benefit are from households in employment.
    By saying no DSS the housing association is saying it doesn’t want to house the poor or those on low incomes.

  2. Can I also point out that caring for relatives – whether parents, children, (able or disabled) actually constitutes work that could be regarded as just as socially useful , as , say, devising computer games. In this upside down world such (caring) work is either regarded as “not work” or is seen as an inferior form of work which merits less regard and certainly less reward. It’s a gender issue,
    of course. Supporting people is “woman’s work” ; manipulating things is “men’s work” and although work with “things” is actually less demanding, because of power relationships it is more highly valued.

    I don’t like getting into the distinction between the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor, anyway. We have moved on a bit since the Poor Law era and such archaic conceptual frameworks.

    What we are seeing in Housing Association ( and Council Housing ) Policy like “no DSS” is their acquiescence in a process of social cleansing on an epic scale; the gentrification of swathes of the urban landscape and the shifting of lower paid workers to the outlying “banlieux”. In some ways it’s a rerun of the enclosures of the 18th/19th century , when the peasantry were driven off the land and into the factories. The sad thing is that now there is no historic destination for the people who are now being uprooted from their communities because they are now surplus to requirements.

  3. This is a bit conspiracy theorist for me (that HAs no longer want to fulfil their chosen social purpose to help those on low incomes?).

    This looks to me like a case of somebody fairly junior who is probably newly employed from an estate agent or letting agent background etc getting the wrong end of the stick from what they are used to with buy to let landlords (I see 100s of ads daily in Brighton & Hove for rented flats which say No DSS (and no dogs for that matter!!!)).

    The use of No DSS is morally reprehensible to me and I would be pretty certain (at least hopeful) that there is a conversation going on internally about the cultural fit between the particular employee and the mentioned HA…

    However, the fact is that the article states that this is a keyworker house where people by definition need to be in employment. So for me it’s not associated with HAs moving away from being charitable organisations.

    The point clearly lost on the writer of the ad is that probably half of renters on benefits are also working – hence we need a form of housing which is affordable to people on low (or even median) wages.

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