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Housing and the Inclusive Society - Essay Example

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Housing and the Inclusive Society
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Housing and the Inclusive Society

In addition, private rented sector has actively participated in creating opportunities for provision of adequate homes that are accessible and convenient for in terms of prices and affordability to socially excluded groups. According to the EU, social inclusion involves a process of including people in societal activities who risk exclusion through poverty, unemployment, or homelessness; this includes exclusion from participation in decision-making processes (Spandler, 2007; European Commission, 2010). In this paper, there will be a discussion on the contribution of the private rented sector in promoting social inclusion or social exclusion, followed by an evaluation of the lesson learnt by social housing about social inclusion. Effect of Private Rented Sector on Social exclusion Private rented sector is usually a commercially operated environment such that those providing social housing must look forward to making profits. In this case, the State does not have a direct role in dictating housing provision, but can only provide guidelines on housing standards that landlords should meet. Therefore, it is a common phenomenon to see housing providers excluding some people based on various reasons (Hayes, Gray and Edwards, 2008; Le Grand, 2003). First, in relation to rental fees (price), allocation of housing may exclude some people based on their incomes. For instance, rental charges may be prohibitive for low-income earners, as well as those people who do not get housing benefits from their employment (Hulse and Burke, 2000). Another factor of housing allocation that promotes social exclusion is facilities allocation in housing such that the landlords usually fix heating and fuel systems within houses, which make accommodation expensive. In this case, tenants may be rebuffed from accessing housing due to extra cost of heating and fuel, or they may have to dedicate much of their resources to such costs in expense of other basic needs (Hulse and Burke, 2000). Thirdly, social housing may discriminate disabled population from accessing housing due to the architectural design of houses. It is evident that majority of houses are constructed without consideration the accessibility of wheelchair users to the buildings; the same can be said for blind people. Fourthly, there are instances when landlord put conditions on who should be rented accommodation. For instance, landlords, driven by desire to make money and avoid the stress of demanding delayed or unpaid rent, may decide that only people from a certain level of income, certain employment sectors, race, religion or sexual orientation should be provided with housing, thus discriminating against those who do not qualify (Kleinman, 1998), despite this being unlawful. Fifthly, it is possible that some people will not have sufficient information on where to secure housing of their class and in such cases, they may be excluded from housing. For instance, potential tenants may find it difficult locating affordable housing especially in new and unfamiliar locations, thus finding themselves occupying houses that are beyond their reach (Hulse and Burke, 2000). Finally, private rented houses may not be equitably allocated in terms of location, with such houses being concentrated or exclusively located in certain areas. In this case, although it may be motivated by issues such as security, people who have to make ... Read More
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