Monday, 9 August 2010

The Boy Blunder

At the risk of becoming boring, I feel I must point out some of the weaknesses in David Cameron's latest half-baked idea namely, to limit council house tenancies to five or ten-year leases and evict people when their income rises or their children grow up.
First, it merely adds to the so-called 'poverty trap' as it would act as a disincentive to tenants to improve their lot if they know that they might lose their home if their earnings rise above a certain amount. Dave seems to have missed the point that social housing is provided for people who do not have the necessary capital to get going in the private sector. It is also there because the private sector cannot, or will not, provide adequate housing at a reasonable rent.
Secondly, what happened to Dave's idea about creating a sense of community, the Big Society? If social housing is only ever short-term it will merely end up as a kind of transit camp. People might have somewhere to live for a limited period but will it be a home with a sense of continuity and community identity?
We're all in together but some of us are more in it than others, it seems.

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