After watching panorama on council housing I saw the opportunity to do a project around it. ‘Under the government’s controversial welfare reforms state handouts are capped at £500-a-week’. Families were effected by this reform and asked to move from London and relocate to cheaper accommodation. The programme presented the fact that some large families were working, but the size of the family meant they couldn’t afford the rent after the benefits were capped. Families would then loose their jobs and have to work hard to get another in their relocated home. Overall many families would be worse off, and they wouldn’t be spending in that area they were in before so it wouldn’t be beneficial for that area.
‘1,200 households in the borough have seen their state benefits slashed since handouts.’ Brent Council
‘Since changes to the welfare system began in 2010, Brent says 549 households have been moved to accommodation outside the borough.’
I want to photograph the spaces that people once lived but have now relocated to a place they don’t want to go to. I want to photograph the space in a way similar to the way Lisa Barnard photographed her ‘Chateaux Despair’ project with the walls and the empty space which would resonate the families who once stayed there.
From watching the programme it showed the families that didn’t want to leave. So I want to show this by leaving the prints in the fix for only 30 seconds so the quality changes and the colour moves to a yellow hue.
This is a controversial issue so it would be difficult to get access, but I’ve found council houses up for viewing on the website gumtree, so I’m going to contact those people to access the spaces and take images, pretending to be interested in the home.
If the images work, this could be an interesting project that provokes opinions because its such a hot topic at the moment.