Aussie Trash Talk Blights Social Housing Future. Why Does It Happen?

coloured light projected on public housing high rise building
Gertrude Street Projection Festival 2013 (9331883077) (3) photo by Chris Phutully is licensed under CC BY 2.0
A cool background for a light show. Is this the best we can find to say about social housing?

Propaganda is an effective tool for stigmatizing social housing. Governments trade in propaganda, swaying the view of their citizens for cynical reasons that range from a political ideology of a party in power (such as thinly-veiled racism) to purely pragmatic means of balancing budgets (for example by dismissing or downgrading the importance of a social housing solution in spite of the fact it has proven worldwide to be an enduring necessity and thus an unqualified success on that ground alone).

Stigmatization can happen when a government, like that of Australia, identifies difficulties or failures of a program such as social housing and then proceeds to sell those problems to the public as as unsolvable, insurmountable, or untenable in the face of reasonable cost-benefit analysis.

What are these sources of stigma in Australia? Do they represent a wall of unsolvable issues that justifies either aggressively axing a century of accumulated social housing experiment, or less controversially, slowly strangling social housing to death by deliberate neglect?

Decades of stigmatizing social housing have left a number of modern nations in positions similar to Australia. An exploration of how this stigmatization of social housing can be ‘fixed’ is well worth their consideration.

For more on this phenomenon in Australia, together with some ideas of what can be done about it, read more in The Conversation: Why public housing is stigmatised and how we can fix it