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Sunday, 5 July 2015

The demonisation of social housing and the tenants who live there.

George Osborne to axe subsidies for higher income earners in social housing 



Council houses in Islington, north London. As housing affordability drops many more people are predicted to join waiting lists for social housing. Photograph: Felix Clay

Rent benefits to be scrapped for those on more than £30,000

It is not really clear from this article whether the £40k in London and the £30k elsewhere, is a "household income" (dad,mum,working children living at home) or an individual, (presumably the person in who's name the tenancy stands), income. In either case, will the "savings" from this measure be sufficient to cover the costs of the bureaucracy needed to manage the new measures and to monitor the ongoing "means testing" necessary to implement it? Again a knee jerk and ill thought out proposal from this wretched government, designed to be popular with some parts of society rather than to resolve an extremely complex problem of which housing "subsidies" form only a minute part.
We should also explode the myth that "social housing" is only for the "poor people" in our society. The provision of social housing, which has been systematically destroyed under previous Conservative governments, was and should be now, geared to meeting the appalling lack of housing in this country, where hundreds of thousands of people are unable to find accommodation rented or otherwise, or are living in overcrowded conditions desperately seeking a home of their own. Adequate housing is a right for people and where government or the private sector is unable or most likely unwilling( because the lack of housing keeps prices high in the "market" and the new build and rented sectors)then society has the duty to provide houses for those who require housing not just "the poor".
It is government with its "friends and financial supporters" which creates the conditions for this shortage and then benefits politically and financially from the demonisation of social housing tenants.