'Poor doors' that stigmatise council residents could be banned, vow ministers

Ministers have vowed to end so-called poor doors (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

So-called ‘poor doors’ could be banned from housing developments in England, ministers have vowed.

To be granted planning permission, housing developers must frequently build social or affordable homes within affluent or luxury developments.

This means, residents in the cheaper properties are often forced to use a separate ‘poor door’ entrance, or are even excluded from some facilities or amenities afforded to the more affluent homeowners.

Ministers have pledged to clamp down on poor doors, which can "stigmatise" and divide them from private residents.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said the examples of wealth segregation he had seen left him "appalled".

In one extreme case, a development in south London was reported by the Guardian to have prevented children living in social housing from using a playground intended to be communal.

LONDON, UK, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/07/06: Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan being interviewed by media during the parade. The biggest ever, Pride In London parade in central London. An estimated over 1 million people lined along the route in support of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender / Transsexual) community. (Photo by Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

During his 2015 election campaign, London Mayor Sadiq Khan pledged to ban the practice, slamming it as an "appalling form of social segregation".

He said: ”Poor doors segregate people who are living side by side, they drive a wedge between our communities.”


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The move towards eradicating poor doors came about after a government-commissioned survey to mark 100 years of social housing.

The research found that older people were less likely to feel comfortable about living close to council around housing association residents.

The survey found that 38% of over-65s reported feeling comfortable, meanwhile 53% of 18 to 25-year-olds felt the same way.