Affordable housing

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The Government proposes to produce significant numbers of ‘affordable’ housing, thus giving the impression that one result will be a significant increase in the quantity of social (mainly council) housing stock for rent, to provide decent homes for the less well off.

But, at the same time, they also intend to restore to council house tenants the right to buy their houses with up to 50 per cent discount on market prices. Thus by selling council properties at half price they make such homes more ‘affordable’ for some and hence the government will chalk up the achievement of each sale as evidence of the creation of an ‘affordable’ property without seemingly one new house being built in replacement.

Consequently, at least in the short to medium term, the stock of social housing at affordable rents for the poorest will decrease rather than increase.

Similarly, under the Welfare Reform Bill, the Government proposes to force model council tenants of long standing yet unemployed and hence in receipt of benefits, from their homes if judged to be under-occupying their property, to make room for (working?) families with too many children for their current home.

Where will those who are evicted live if no suitable alternative accommodation is to be provided?

Or is the plan simply to abandon these tenants to life as feral, homeless paupers on the streets with absolutely no prospect of gainful employment due to having no permanent address – and then blame them for their plight?

Meanwhile, in contrast, at the same time, apparently the seriously affluent will be given financial help to enable them to afford to buy properties costing hundreds of thousands of pounds and thus presumably help to swell the Government’s figures regarding the number of affordable properties that have been created.

So where is the fairness in such policies and how are they supposed to help the underprivileged?

Michael Parker, Robertshaw Crescent, Deepcar