Saturday, August 07, 2010

Cameron and the future of public housing

Even rabid Tory right winger Nadine Dorries MP has attacked her leader, David Cameron’s plan to end security of tenure for Council and housing association tenants. Nadine points out here that this would not solve the housing shortage and will disincentives tenants. She at least as a child lived in a Council house an experience Cameron and the vast great majority of Conservative Party MP’s know nothing whatsoever about.

It’s clear that that Cameron has been publicly caught out telling porkies about the future of public housing. Everyone in housing knew that the Tories in opposition were planning to attack security of tenure. Check this from Inside Housing

“In the run up to the general election Mr Cameron came under attack from then housing minister John Healey, who accused the Conservatives of wanting to end secure tenancies.

At the time, Mr Cameron said the allegations were ‘simply untrue’ and a spokesperson for the Conservatives said the party had ‘no policy to change the current or future security of tenure of tenants in social housing’.

But today he said: ‘There is a question mark about whether, in future, we should be asking when you are given a council home is it for a fixed period? Because maybe in five or 10 years you will be doing a different job and be better paid and you won’t need that home, you will be able to go into the private sector.’

Nadine is right (never thought I would say that) that this proposal will not solve the housing crisis and will put people off getting training and jobs but if all public housing (Council and housing association properties) are only inhabited by the unemployed or disabled and are only a “tenure of the last resort” then they will indeed become the latest Tory “barracks of the poor”.

I don’t want to be evicting families out of their homes if one of them manages to get a job on minimum wage rates either.

Great Picture from the Daily Mirror


David Boothroyd said...

Thank god I saved a copy of that Tory leaflet they put round on the Brunel Estate when we started telling voters what the Tories were going to do to council tenants. Here it is, although the tenants seem to have believed us and disbelieved the Tories.

John Gray said...

Thank you David. Hopefully people will remember we were not "scare mongering" next time.

Anonymous said...

The tories are asking the right questions. Should we be giving out council houses for life?.

Those that get a free council houses, pay dirt cheap rent, then go on to to buy the council house on the cheap on to make a quick speculative gain by re-selling that property or they can pass it on as inheritance to their kids.

If someone gets a 3 bedroom house when they have family and kids, why should they not be rehoused to a 1 bed house when the kids have moved on?

Whilst there are tons of young working people who are priced out with property prices so high. It is immoral that the councils are flogging off homes on the cheap, only for our taxes to pay for new ones to be built.

John Gray said...

Hi Anon
I think you need to get yourself up to speed. Public housing tenants will rightly take exception to your suggestion that they pay “dirt free rents”.

Surely the question is why should tenants seeking long term homes be treated as 2nd class citizens? Do you have to sell and move if you own a 3 bedroom house and your kids move out? Incentives to move yes – evicting grannies, who have lived all their lives in their home, No thank you.

I do totally agree with you about the scandal of the Tory right to buy. Thankfully, the discount has been largely done away with and many Council's in housing need have been able to stop it.

The real “moral” argument is about dealing with the absolute housing crisis by building more homes for sale and rent. Rent controls on the private sector and taxing residential capital gains will cut rents and house prices and provide the money to build homes in the public and private sector.

Anonymous said...

john, why in newham are the opposition to labour so rubbish? i don't support labour but these people are just pathetic. not in our name. they should grow up.

Damien McKee said...

Seeing as you aren't keen on Nadine Dorries I take it if you were married to her it would be a nightmare for you!

John Gray said...

...the horror, the horror...

Damien McKee said...

What do you mean?

John Gray said...