Hit or Miss? Housing association tackled over Paralympian's upstairs bathroom

Today's Sun splashed on how wheelchair racing "hero" David Weir has to "drag himself upstairs by his arms to the toilet because housing chiefs won't give him a home with a downstairs loo".

David Weir: won four Paralympic gold medals at London 2012 (picture credit: Getty Images)
David Weir: won four Paralympic gold medals at London 2012 (picture credit: Getty Images)

Weir’s fiancée claimed the housing association that provides homes on their Wallington estate, Roundshaw Homes, told them it did not want to look like it was "showing favouritism to Weir".

The association, a partnership between housing providers Hyde Group and Metropolitan, told The Sun it could not comment on individual cases, though in later reports its spokesman said it was "continuing to actively liaise with Mr Weir to address his housing needs".

How I See It

Simon Buckby, managing director, Champollion

The handling of the housing furore concerning Paralympian David Weir is a clear miss. The reported excuse by Roundshaw Homes that his success was a disadvantage when it came to getting a house with a downstairs toilet is incomprehensible.

By briefing that it didn’t want to be seen as treating David with "favouritism", Roundshaw Homes simultaneously undermined statements that it was actively liaising with David to ensure his housing met his needs.

Roundshaw should instead have emphasised that each case is treated on its individual merits and it aims to ensure every person gets the appropriate level of support from their housing.

This would have allayed fears that David was being treated as a special case, while ensuring he wasn’t conversely penalised for his celebrity status.

It should then have committed to urgently reviewing his case so that it fulfilled its primary responsibility: to meet his housing needs.

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