Telegraph View. Houses that are not homes

Star editor Nancy Fielder is campaigning for Pride in Sheffield.
Star editor Nancy Fielder is campaigning for Pride in Sheffield.

Depending what has happened to the Beast, you may be witnessing a beautiful winter wonderland through your window right now.

Frosty branches and snow-covered gardens are the most attractive point of the season.

The divide in good, bad and simply awful housing is painfully unfair and sets a precedent for the lives of many of our children. How do we change that?

That feeling of warmth when you return to a cosy house for a cup of cocoa, stepping in from the bitterly cold wind outside.

Most of us in Sheffield enjoy that privilege of a properly heated home. For some though, that is nothing but an impossible dream.

Our special report on Pages 6 and 7 looks at the awful conditions that some families in our city are forced to live in.

It really makes you question the basic things that so many of us enjoy, usually without thinking about the wider picture for our less fortunate neighbours.

In particular we are focusing on private landlords. It is clear there are some who care about nothing other than making as much money as possible from the properties they own. It is all about profit rather than safe, warm homes.

There is always going to be a problem when business collides with basic human needs.

Sheffield, even despite beating the trend by actually building new ‘council housing’, has more people in need of shelter than it has homes.

Hence we have families forced to live in inhumane conditions and a generation unable to get on the property ladder. That’s before you even start talking about being a city divided through housing prices, largely prompted by school ratings and access.

The divide in good, bad and simply awful housing is painfully unfair and sets a precedent for the lives of many of our children. How do we change that?

So as well as using the snow as a prompt to check on elderly neighbours, I hope it also acts as a catalyst of realisation. A nice home is pretty basic to us but that just isn’t true for too many in our city.