Bye bye council house for life

Security is an important thing. Security of tenure is massive so the decision to take away the right for council tenants to have a property for life is at best misguided. The PM has suggested it would increase social mobility, maybe it would on whatever planet he inhabits. Here however, taking away the security of a council home if you earn too much and pushing you into the Private Rental Sector would not constitute an improvement in anything. This is a decision made by people who have never lived in either of these tenures and who can’t comprehend the stress and complications of an unsettled home life. And clearly have no idea of just how bad things can be in the PRS. Perhaps they don’t even realise that the chances are that the Private Sector homes those kicked out of their council homes end up renting will be on the very same council estate. Haven’t they seen the statistics about how many ex-council houses become PRS properties? How would that move constitute an improvement in terms of social mobility? ‘I now live in a more expensive house on the same estate with less security than I had before but I feel like I’m on the up. Yay!’

And by the way, just as I’m sure there are plenty of middle class households who make sure neither of the earners goes over 50k so they can still qualify for child benefit, don’t you think council tenants might take a similar approach to their earnings to keep themselves in their home. Yes, KEEP THEMSELVES IN THEIR HOME. It’s a nasty policy change and not terribly well thought through one at that.

Maybe they want to level the playing field. They see that some in the PRS feel aggrieved that they have to live with short-term tenancies and no home for life so let’s take away that particular bugbear. And let’s do it in the negative way rather than the positive. Let’s not consider improving PRS tenancies because that would have an impact on landlords that might not be very well-received so instead we’ll worsen council ones. Yes, that will do it. Job sorted. Now everyone unfortunate enough to rent are on their way to feeling equally insecure.

Build more council houses. Stop allowing people in council and now housing associations to buy their properties unless you replace them and quickly at that. Keep the tenancies as they were. And can you give up on the building more houses to own until you bring the prices down? You think it looks good but you’re helping a tiny proportion of the population while leaving others to fend for themselves and you’re failing to deal with the root of the problem.

Basically, can you just stop making things worse?