Monday, August 18, 2008

Labour Party rejects “Homes for Courses”

Another Social Housing and Labour Party issue from this weeks “Inside Housing”. The final draft of the Party housing policy brief rejects any suggestion that social housing tenants should be made to sign “commitment contracts” to either work or seek employment training in order to retain their tenancies. This will be voted upon at the Party conference next month.

This policy regarding “commitment contracts” was “floated” by housing minister, Caroline Flint, in a speech at the very beginning of her appointment and caused understandably quite a lot of fuss.

I can understand Caroline’s motives for bring this subject up, but I think it was unworkable and unwise to even suggest that tenants will lose their homes if they do not apply for jobs or training courses.

The policy forum concluded that access to housing should be emphasised on need and they were concerned that if social housing was too highly regulated, then less fortunate tenants could end up in the private sector. Fair points I suppose.

I always understood that Caroline really wanted to float ideas in order to start a debate. We have to think long and hard on how we can incentivise the overwhelming majority of unemployed tenants who are desperate for help on how to work or train their way out of poverty.

The minority who are not interested in bettering themselves are part of a wider problem that is not only a “social housing” issue and it is wrong to label it as so.


Anonymous said...

Whats wrong with requiring people who want subsidised social housing to be seeking work? its a realistic plan?

John Gray said...

Yep – great idea. Evict a young mum for not going on a course. That will “teach” ‘em!

Anonymous said...

Let me work it out...hmmmm attend a house...hmmm hard one?
What about all the layabouts that want a free lunch... oh let them be. Its so unreasonable to expect them to make any contribution.

John Gray said...

Hi Anon

Personally, I wouldn't call a young Mum "lazy"?

Actually the laziest layabouts I have ever had the misfortune to meet have been the children of the very rich! (Not all obviously)