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Can we please stop calling tenants vulnerable!

Red stop sign from Wikimedia commons.

In this article from Social Housing Matters, Dr Gaby Wolferink makes a case for landlords to stop referring to tenants as vulnerable. In the article, Gaby focuses on how such labelling is an expression of power that works to maintain false divisions between tenants and landlords. At the Rethinking Homes Network, we prefer to think in terms of circumstances that produce vulnerability rather than thinking of some people as inherently vulnerable. Thinking in terms of vulnerable circumstances challenges landlords to reflect on how their process may contribute to producing vulnerable environments (ahem, unfurnished tenancies, ahem). This shift in thinking is a huge pivot point for social landlords, as many services, and assumptions, are based on the idea that tenants are inherently vulnerable. Challenging this assumption then is a key part of thinking differently about social housing work.

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