Archive for the ‘Council Housing Reforms’ Category

Council Housing Reforms

vendredi, août 13th, 2010

A Sunday Times poll on the reforms to council housing suggested last week by David Cameron, found 62% in favour versus 32% against. It was proposed that, in future, people moving into council homes could be put on short-term leases, renewable every five years.
The risk for the Conservative party is in alienating the type of person once won over as a voter by the chance to buy their council house and representing those with aspirations on the council estates. Without the stability from longer term security of tenure, there will also be no incentive for council tenants to improve and add value to their housing through their own efforts. There is a certain mismatch perhaps between those on one side who regard a house purely as an asset to trade profitably up the property ladder when the market allows and those for whom a house or flat is very personal and valued as their home, even a council home.
However, the council housing market would benefit from being made more flexible such as via the proposed freedom pass database of the reforms, to allow council tenants in complementary circumstances to exchange houses e.g. to find work elsewhere. Housing associations and councils already try and encourage tenants whose children have left home to exchange their house for a smaller flat. They also endeavour to cut down on abuses of the system such as sub-letting of council properties.
This council housing debate overlaps with the one on more control over immigration. One of the consequences of mass immigration doing the recent Labour years is that of the 1.8 million on the council house waiting list, rather a large proportion particularly in London are from immigrant communities. The positive contribution to society of such communities, therefore, also needs to be offset against the resources and services they require such as access to scarce council homes.