Is the home all it’s cracked up to be?

Politicians and charities talk in glowing and unambiguously positive terms about the home. 

2021 was the year of “it’s coming home”, 2020 was the year of “stay at home, save lives” and charities are increasingly convinced that ‘housing first’ is one of the best ways to help people that have experienced homelessness.

This enthusiasm and uniformly positive rhetoric can obscure the obvious reality that the home is a place where a lot of harm is caused.

  • Home is the place where domestic abuse takes place, where people feel lonely and where people engage in some of their most self destructive behaviours around drink and drugs 
  • Home is a hard place to be if your home is overcrowded, in disrepair or poorly adapted to your needs.
  • Home is a constant source of anxiety and stress if you cannot afford your rent or if your neighbours are harassing you.

What would it look and feel like if we grappled with these obvious truths? If we thought not just about helping people find a home and sustain their home but if we considered how we could make people’s experience of the home better, or at least less bad?

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