I see the Tory-led coalition are to press ahead with their plan to force new social housing tenants to accept 2 year contracts. Social landlords will be able to check the financial status of their tenants and if they are earning too much, they will be evicted after 6 months.
I listened with bemusement as I heard Grant Shapps refer to social housing as “subsidized housing” on BBC News this morning. It is obvious what Shapps and the others mean when they refer to “subsidized housing”: social tenants are “scroungers”.
The Coalition has countered criticism by pointing to the five million people waiting for a home.
That isn’t a real counter-argument yet the government thinks that by simply saying there are” 5 million waiting for a home” it will magically divert attention from the fact that no social housing was built to replace those properties that were sold under Right To Buy. There is no logic either to the plan or their thinking. But this isn’t about addressing the housing shortage as the government claims. It’s all about punishing the poor, the low-waged and the vulnerable for the excesses of the banks.
The Right To Buy scheme was the first attempt by the Conservatives to destroy working class communities and thus have the effect of reducing the Labour vote in areas with large numbers of social tenants. This can be seen in two ways: first, it’s social engineering and second, it’s a form of gerrymandering. In the 1990’s, Wandsworth and Westminster City councils both sold off council estates in order to create obedient Tory-voting wards.
Instead of allowing councils to build more homes, their solution is to ignore the housing shortage. It’s not much of a solution when you think about it.