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Should social housing be reformed?

09:33 UK time, Tuesday, 19 October 2010

The social housing budget in England could be cut by more than half in the Spending Review, the BBC understands. The government is also set to launch a consultation on proposals to reform social housing later in the year. How would you reform the system?

Ministers are expected to introduce a "flexible tenancy" for people who move into council housing for the first time, with tenants being assessed over time to see if they still require help with housing. In August, Prime Minister David Cameron said greater flexibility was required within the social housing system to allow tenants to move to find work.

However, Labour has accused Mr Cameron of threatening the long-term stability people value from having a secure tenancy. At present, council tenants keep their property for life unless they breach their tenancy agreement, they can also pass their homes onto their children.

Should the social housing budget be cut? Should more affordable homes be built? What do you think of the proposals? Is there a need for greater flexibility in social housing? Should tenants have a home for life? Are you a social housing tenant, tell us what you think.

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Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    As a great deal of our social housing seems to go to immigrants - making sure that in all cases housing goes to Brits first would seem like a good starting point

  • Comment number 2.

    Should social housing be reformed?

    I'd like to see far more affordable housing,especially in rural areas, with subsidised housing available for the most vulnerable.

    The problem remains the same - where's the money going to come from?

    At the moment Btitain will be lucky if it doesn't start going backwards, nevermind making progress with social issues.

  • Comment number 3.

    ITS IRONIC THAT THE SAME POLITICAL PARTY THE TORYS WHO INTRODUCED COUNCIL HOUSE SALES AT CUT PRICES ,NOW WANT TO CHANGE THE TENANCYS OF THOSE WHO DID NOT BUY ,WHO WERE EITHER TOO POOR ,FINANCIALLY IGNORANT,OR AGAINST BUYING IN PRINCIPLE A PUBLIC ASSET ,WHY SHOULD TENANTS HAVE TO CHANGE OR MOVE HOMES TO SUIT MILLIONAIRE POLITICIANS WHIMS ,MANY WHOM SCREWED THE PUBLIC WITH INFLATED EXPENSE CLAIMS ,AND HAVE WE HAVE SEEN RECENTLY SOME DO ANYTHING TO AVOID PAYING UK TAXES ,LETS SOME SAVINGS STARTING FROM THE TOP DOWN NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND

  • Comment number 4.

    Yes it should be reformed.

    If a family's financial situation improves so that they could afford to move away from social housing and pay their own way, then they should but that doesn't mean being under threat of being turfed out at a moment's notice.

    I'm amazed that parents can leave their social housing to their children regardless of their children's financial status - this is crazy.

    Social housing should be there to support those who need it.

  • Comment number 5.

    Another rehtorical question beeb.

    How in a fair society can a section of the population get cheap low cost housing for life while those who earn have to pay through the nose for theirs?

    How is it fair that those who enjoy this cheap housing get the opportunity to buy it at a stupidly low price and become wealthy as a result?

    How is it fair that once in situ there are no checks to make sure that they treat the property with respect?

    Another example of the middle classes paying for the idle.

  • Comment number 6.

    Council housing has become unaffordable because of the millions of immigrants who demand housing when they arrive here. This means people in need born in this country will suffer again - thanks to Labour. Everything that party did in power has been disastrous for the poor.

  • Comment number 7.

    I know an unmarried woman who lived with her elderly mother in council accommodation and inherited the flat when her mother died. Her financial status is no business of mine so I can't say she didn't deserve to keep the flat, but I do know she had significant investments as well as state and occupational pensions. This is something which certainly needs looking at.

  • Comment number 8.

    As the woman stated on the Today programme this morning - if they can afford the vast majority leave social housing as quickly as they can. I'm also informed that social housing "swaps" are a regular occurence as family conditions change. This is yet another example of the ConDems trying to put the blame to the "undeserving" poor.

    All governments since Thatcher gave tenants the right to buy have clawed back the receipts to central government rather than spending it on replenishing stocks or repairing the remaining ones. This country is now reaping the reward. It's a prime example of the short term thinking of most politicians in this country. All that concerns them is the next election.

  • Comment number 9.

    1. At 09:54am on 19 Oct 2010, grainsofsand wrote:
    As a great deal of our social housing seems to go to immigrants - making sure that in all cases housing goes to Brits first would seem like a good starting point.

    ----

    So basically your advocating a system where 'Brits' (whatever your personal definition of 'Brit' is) get priority over everyone else?

    Isn't that basically Apartheid-Lite?

  • Comment number 10.

    Not giving them to immigrants would be a good start!

    This country is full as it is. So much so I sometimes think we might have to deport some.

  • Comment number 11.

    Big supermarket comes to town promising jobs. Next thing we need affordable homes for the people to come to the area to work in those low paid part time jobs.

    Who's being subsidised? The worker in the deadend job that doesn't pay a wage sufficient to live on and pay rent, or the supermarket?

  • Comment number 12.

    I'm going to hate myself for agreeing with a Tory but it should have been done long ago. Both pairs of my Grandparents had 3 bedroom council houses. That was fine when they had a full household but even when widowed my Grandmothers continued to live in the same houses until they died.

    That can't be right. Social Housing should be awarded on the basis of need. They should both have been moved into flats long before and the houses freed up for someone that needed it.

    As for passing your tenancy on to your children. That is outrageous. If you want to pass a house on then buy one. And don't buy a council house, they are for those that need them.

  • Comment number 13.

    This will lead to chaos.
    People in social housing generally can't afford to buy - unless the social housing is sold off cheap of course.
    The government now wants social housing rent to be closer to market rates. Most of these are buy-to-let, and those who own them want enough money to cover their mortgage.
    If a social tenant could afford the rent to cover a mortgage, they could afford a mortgage, so where do they think they are going to get the money from to buy a property, or even start to save if they have to pay the equivalent of a mortgage to rent?

    It's simply pandering to the banks. The only way to keep prices artificially high is to create a new market - a forced market. This will lead to people having mortgages which are longer than their lifetime, which is actually another form of renting, or a collapse which will make this recession seem like losing some change from your pocket.

  • Comment number 14.

    Most definately it should be reformed. The thing that really bugs me is when you drive through a Council Estate and quite clearly see signs of Wealth i.e. New Cars and Boats in driveways etc. People who have been sitting tennants for years and who can well afford to buy should be evicted to aloow less fortunate individuals to take up residence. There are far too many of the Population in this Country who are just scrounging off the State !

  • Comment number 15.

    We had the same problems with lack of affordable housing thirty years ago. So the question is "should social housing be reformed?" What I want to know is why hasn't this problem been address thirty years ago.? I do not see why the Goverment would want to reform social housing since our population is growing so fast that we are running out of land. The best way to "reform" is to stop immigration, make sure that couples only have two children and protect the most vulnerable(old people and children). And only give out council houses to those who have been on a waiting list for five years. Yes I am living in dream world again.

  • Comment number 16.

    There is a lot of abuse of social housing.

    Sub-letting
    Tenants for life
    Premium high cost housing in London
    Preferential treatment for immigrants and asylum seekers.

    In short, the system needs to be reviewed, in particular:

    There needs to be a qualifying period and citizenship criterion before people are allowed social housing.

    There should be a cap on the cost of rented property much lower than that proposed.

    People sub-letting for private gain should be banned immediately. NO three strikes rule. One strike is enough.

    But the government need to make enabling changes to laws. In particular, councils are afraid of dealing with immigrants / asylum seekers or 'disadvantaged' in a rational way. In short they fear being pulled up by equality and discrimination legislation, which is why such groups get an easy ride. It must be stopped, it is not fair on those who have lived in this country and paid taxes for a long time.

  • Comment number 17.

    From Thatcher's "(almost) free for all" to Cameron's "nothing is going to be secure from here on in". "It doesn't matter how good, honest, honourable, compassionate, hardworking, thoughtful, decent you are, we are going to take it from you, when we say so."

    No spin is possible, no excuse is defensible, no misrepresentation of what has been said allowed. Clear and damning of a toff's idle whimsy. And not even a mention of private sector rental reforms.....

    Yeah you Tory, Lib Dem suckers, welcome to the Age of Idiocy.

  • Comment number 18.

    #2 writes "I'd like to see far more affordable housing,especially in rural areas".

    This is all well and good, but 'affordable housing' absolutely destroys rural communities. Land is gobbled up and estates spring up all around and all of a sudden that quaint vestige of rural life - beautiful, community based villages - starts to disappear. People who live in rural areas do so because it's quiet and beautiful. Take those away with 'affordable housing' and what do you have?

    As for council housing, good. I'm glad to hear that council tenants will be encouraged to find their own feet, rather than depending on the government all their lives. Yes, it means that people will have to move about, but that's just how it is: if you live out of the government's pocket, you go where it tells you to go; do what it says.

    Overpopulation. Thanks Labour...

  • Comment number 19.

    I agree it should be reviewed as at the moment people seem to assume they are going to get given somewhere to live for life and therefore have no motivation to try and help themselves.

    My husband and I have work very hard all our lives and just about afford to own a 2 bedroom flat in the south east of england (which is barely big enough for us and our son), so it really annoys me when I then hear of people compaining that their similar or bigger council accomedation is not big enough. If you want better then go and earn it like the rest of us. Some of us work over 40 hours a week, bring up children, never have a holiday, have never had sky tv.. and all to afford to put a home over our heads!

    As with many benefits there are far to many people who totally rely on it for their whole life and have no intention of helping themselves. Ok if for a genuine reason you can't work etc (no being a single parent does not qualify as genuine) then yes the state should be their to help, but as for the rest of them, they should be grateful they get anything and certainly should not be allowed to guarenteed a house for life! It infuriates me when I hear stories like the a single 17 year old mother who choses to privately rent a £700 a month luxery flat and then the housing office agrees to pay all the rent for her! Why?!?!?

  • Comment number 20.

    '5. At 10:05am on 19 Oct 2010, One in a million wrote:
    Another rehtorical question beeb.

    How in a fair society can a section of the population get cheap low cost housing for life while those who earn have to pay through the nose for theirs?

    How is it fair that those who enjoy this cheap housing get the opportunity to buy it at a stupidly low price and become wealthy as a result?

    How is it fair that once in situ there are no checks to make sure that they treat the property with respect?

    Another example of the middle classes paying for the idle. '

    Why the assumption that council house tenants are lazy benefit scroungers? A huge number actually work very hard in low-paid jobs and cannot afford the astronomical rents charged by private landlords. The gap between the social classes must be enormous if the middle classes haven't got a clue what the hard reality of life is like for those on low incomes. Once again the Tories succeed in getting the population to blame each other rather than the people that got us into this mess. As long as we're bickering amongst ourselves, we won't get off our backsides to try and change the system that's failed us so miserably. It's 'divide and conquer' and we drift into it like sheep with our eyes closed.

  • Comment number 21.

    I agree with the means testing and that it should not be a for life option. Why should the rest of us work hard to pay a huge mortgage while people on the same income in a council property have their rent subsidised? Once their circumstances change they should pay the market rate in rental or move. I also disagree with the massive discounted option of buying the property, we may as well pay them to live there.
    I do not agree with the huge cut in the social housing build. The construction industry is made up of thousands of small to medium businesses which will go bust. I know for a fact that the only housing currently at full production on most builds is social, private are not shifting as the banks are not lending, so this will cripple the construction industry. But I doubt Cameron cares as these people are self employed and won’t show up on the unemployment stats.

  • Comment number 22.

    Am with post #4 @ 10:03am on 19 Oct - TheWalrus999' on this question about reform of social housing.

    I too didn't realise that parents could 'pass on' their social housing to their children with no assessment, of any kind, of their children's need.

    If someone has paid a mortgage for most of their working life to buy a home, and all the associated costs over the years of owning a home because they want to be independent; then has to sell it to pay for residential care - where is the fairness or incentive in that?

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    The decision, to reduce the budget by half, seems to be part of an overall strategy to withdraw from people who would otherwise not be in a position to obtain it, the means to have children and house a family.

    Whether an assumption is being made in that case, as to whether there's a genetic dimension to state dependency, and a conscious decision has been taken to attempt to reduce the incidence of such genes, I couldn't say.

  • Comment number 25.

    Pst 8 Stated:
    "As the woman stated on the Today programme this morning - if they can afford the vast majority leave social housing as quickly as they can. I'm also informed that social housing "swaps" are a regular occurence as family conditions change. This is yet another example of the ConDems trying to put the blame to the "undeserving" poor."

    That was incorrect, the interviewee stated that, if they could afford to buy a house, surely most people would leave their council houses. She had no evidence to back this up. In addition, being able to buy a house is far too high a requirement for leaving council houses, in my opinion. I wonder how many council tennant would elect to leave if they could afford to RENT in the commercial market?
    There is no excuse for indefinate rights to a council house and making them transferable to children is a policy left over from when a family stayed in the same area and did the same work. The notion that you should be able to inherit state benefits about as far from progressive as you can get!

  • Comment number 26.

    In, addition, there should be more affordable homes to buy as freehold. Not the insidious mass of leasehold only - part buy/part rent where after the first year the lease management fees are curiously 'jacked up'. What a scam.

  • Comment number 27.


    All this will do is increase waiting lists, racist feelings and ... labour will get in, sort it out, ring up a massive debt again and ... well we all know who gets voted in when the country is in debt.

    I think there is a desperate need for (more) social housing but some people who rely on it should be more grateful and realistic - new bathrooms and kitchens every few years is not money well-spent.
    Especially since some people expect it to be redone when they move and don't expect to pay for the week or two it’s being done!
    I pay my own way in life (with help from my awesome parents) and I need but can't afford a new bathroom some people get a free one and are still not happy.

    If houses in a council area have expensive cars or boats outside them I would guess these houses were bought under Thatcher for a tenth of their actual worth.
    People (with money) shouldn't stay in council houses too big for them but do because that is their homes. In this country we very rarely force people out their homes so good luck to the condems in trying (it'll be against their human rights or something. I think there is a desperate need for social housing but some people who rely on it should be more grateful and realistic - new bathrooms and kitchens every few years is not money well-spent.
    Especially since some people expect it to be redone when they move and don't expect to pay for the week or two it’s being done!
    I pay my own way in life (with help from my parents) and I need but can't afford a new bathroom some people get a free one and are still not happy.

  • Comment number 28.

    The 'Right to Buy' chicken has come home to roost. By forcing councils to sell their houses to their tenants(not a right extended to tenants in the private sector), while at the same time preventing councils from using the proceeds to build replacement houses, the long term effect, as predicted, is a chronic shortage of affordable housing.
    The Tories for dogmatic reasons have handed housing provision to the private sector, with the inevitable conclusion. The private sector are not interested in providing low cost housing, to buy or rent, to the low paid. Councils began building houses in the late 19th and early 20th centries for that very reason. The 'working' poor another Victorian concept now back in vogue could not afford to buy a decent house and decent private rentals was also outside their pocket.
    What the coalition is proposing is to cut the budget for social housing and make those who are in need of it, compete amongst themselves for it.
    A clear case of market failure and their solution, make the poor and weak bear the consequences.
    Mean, vindictive and callous, welcome to Cameron's 'Big Society'.

  • Comment number 29.

    How ridiculous to suggest that a country putting one's own citizens first before incommers can be compared to apartheid. There lies the route to madness where anyone in the world can come demand and we have to stick there providing without complaint, like Mother Bountiful.

    It would be nice if society would use council housing in the way it was always meant to be. As a way of providing homes for citizens not wealthy enough to buy their own, or to rent, on the private market. There is no other justification for government to be spending public money in the market, save for covering the above social obligation.

  • Comment number 30.

    9. At 10:08am on 19 Oct 2010, InertiaStalls wrote:
    1. At 09:54am on 19 Oct 2010, grainsofsand wrote:
    As a great deal of our social housing seems to go to immigrants - making sure that in all cases housing goes to Brits first would seem like a good starting point.
    ----
    So basically your advocating a system where 'Brits' (whatever your personal definition of 'Brit' is) get priority over everyone else?
    Isn't that basically Apartheid-Lite?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    No its just common sense. We need a new revolutionary way of thinking in this country. We need to kick out all the politicians in this country who put immigrants ahead of Brits. Change the laws so that we can deport all immigrants who should not be here - housing problem solved.

  • Comment number 31.

    i know this is happening in England but i thought i should share:

    In Glasgow at the end of the 70's there were roughly 170,000 houses available, after the Big tory sell off etc there are now less than 50,000 and these are taken by the majority of immgrants who descend upon Glasgow which makes housing for local (ie born in UK) people a non starter as every ethnic group Nationwide has more rights to these Houses than true British citizens due to whatever reason they are spouting at the time....all housing policy UK wide has to change to offer its own populous housing before it decides that ethnic MINORITIES deserve it more.

  • Comment number 32.

    Yet again the Tories produce their true colours. Following from Thatcher's great sell-off and banning of new council housing stock, Cameron comes up with the bright idea that we should build even less 'social' housing, and that being able to rent for life is no longer an option.

    Did they ever stop to wonder why people rent, or why people need social housing?

  • Comment number 33.

    No free or subsidised housing should be available for anyone.
    If you need somewhere to live pay for it yourself.
    If people cannot afford to pro-create-then dont.
    There has to be no easy ride for social dependant families because their children get caught in the same trap when they grow up. It becomes a way of life.
    If people live below the poverty line its because of their own choices-its not the fault of any government.
    If you want to spend your days doing drugs or abusing alcohol you shouldnt expect the state to fund it.
    If the state pays mummy more for daddy to live around the corner instead of at home WINK WINK-your time is running out.
    Do you tell your kids that Mr David Cameron buys them their christmas presents?

    You make your own choices in life and soon you will actually have to start picking up the pieces-NOT THE HARDWORKING WHO SUPPORT THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES.

  • Comment number 34.

    Social housing is already stigmatised with the label of second class accommodation and it appears the Prime Minister is abrogating responsibility for providing decent rentable accommodation which is surely the most basic human need in any Society whether big or otherwise. The best stock of rentable accommodation was sold off by his predecessor Thatcher, so what is left in the hands of local authorities is the stock no one wants to buy and the local authority does not want to maintain.
    Housing Associations are tasked with the responsibility of providing good quality rentable housing stock people want to live in, they do not want to live in local authority ghettos of run down housing stocks, whom only those with no choice are compelled to rent. Cameron has it right in the context that rentable accommodation should meet the needs of the tenant, throughout a lifetime and one house should not be essentially "owned" by a tenant de facto and certainly should not by right be transferred to the family of the tenant, what utter tosh. But by making such accommodation essentially just hostels for those who cannot afford housing is completely and ansolutely wrong. Forcing up rents to a commercial level while supply does not meet demand is also a false economy, as those who geneuinely cannot afford such rents will be on benefits in any event. This coalition is fast losing the plot, someone needs to waken up and smell the coffee and put the brakes on what is a runaway train heading for one almighty crash. My intial enthusiaism for a new form of Government has completely waned as the Government take on tunnel vison of reducing debt at any cost!

  • Comment number 35.

    Social housing does need to be reformed in certain area’s, for example asylum seekers, immigrants and stupid young girls who allow themselves to get pregnant on purpose should not be allowed to jump to the top of the housing queue (which they do despite what councils say)
    However stating that Tenants will be charged nearer the going market rate, to release cash for the building programme. Is ridiculous.
    In my area a 2 bedroomed house rented privately house costs approx £750 per month. how on earth are young couples and people on the minimum wage going to afford that sort of rent in social housing?
    I am also worried that about the “no council homes for life” bit, at the moment they are proposing voluntary exchanges for downsizing or upsizing (this already exists in the way of council exchanges) but how long will it be before this becomes compulsory
    IE - a woman who has lived in her HOME for 25 years, bought up her family who have now left home and has lost her husband is suddenly told to “GET OUT” we need this house for a family, we have a nice little one bedroom 12th floor flat 10 miles away for you.
    The effect can and will be devastating for some people and to my mind will be totally wrong, we need much more investment in affordable social housing (not ghetto’s) but nice estates where people are proud to live.
    Not everyone can afford or wants to buy their own property which seems to be the main aim of these proposals but many council tenants are very happy where they live and should not be under any pressure to move just because they get a better job and earn more money.
    And I know the usual suspects will scream and howl over this but we would not need so much housing if we were not letting so many people into this country from the EU and beyond (Oh Dear does this comment make racist or little Englander?).


  • Comment number 36.

    I don't disagree with the principle here, however, if the average wage is approx £26000 and the correct multipule for loans is 3.5 x 26000 or 2.5 £52000 how are the coalition proposing to bring houseprices down to this level.

    If the answer is to increase the multiple then that is taking us back to the very cause of the banking crisis.

  • Comment number 37.

    "WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER"this is a dam lie,wellfare now council tennants to be forced to vacate there homes on the whim of a goverment opinion on how many should the household be,coupled to a large increase in rent,nothing at all said of a working mans right to his castle NO!this is fainess tory style attack the weak,there the easy target.i acuse clegg and his click of being political cowards he's a disgrace to all the libdem voters,a disgrace.there is nothing fair about these cuts the poor are going to pay for grasping greed of the banking and corporate fraternity,osbourne and cameron are booth fully paid up members of these parasites and are allowed by the right to set the agenda for cuts, ence the mantra "WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER"yes they are, the banks,buiness and goverment,they will set the tone and the agenda and we the workingclass will pay for there privelidge. SHAME!SHAME!SHAME!

  • Comment number 38.

    30. At 10:27am on 19 Oct 2010, grainsofsand wrote:
    9. At 10:08am on 19 Oct 2010, InertiaStalls wrote:
    1. At 09:54am on 19 Oct 2010, grainsofsand wrote:
    As a great deal of our social housing seems to go to immigrants - making sure that in all cases housing goes to Brits first would seem like a good starting point.
    ----
    So basically your advocating a system where 'Brits' (whatever your personal definition of 'Brit' is) get priority over everyone else?
    Isn't that basically Apartheid-Lite?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    No its just common sense. We need a new revolutionary way of thinking in this country. We need to kick out all the politicians in this country who put immigrants ahead of Brits. Change the laws so that we can deport all immigrants who should not be here - housing problem solved.

    -------------------------

    They came first for the Communists,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

    Then they came for me
    and by that time no one was left to speak up.

    From the Tea Party to the CD in Germany the echo of the past is being heard.

  • Comment number 39.

    One problem that surely glares out is that, if council tenants are obliged to move to the private sector as their income increases sufficiently, the cost of private renting, or the prices of bought houses is likely to rise considerably. Then, if there is no statutory duty on the part of local authorities to provide housing (would this be the case?), then we may be looking at even more homeless on the streets.

  • Comment number 40.

    "Current tenants will be protected for life"
    lol.

    Anyone who actually BELIEVES this, lives in a council house and votes for the tories or the LibDems deserves what's coming to them over the next few years.

    One spinoff could be a mass exodus of tenants to Wales and Scotland, where people still get treated like human beings with dignity...

  • Comment number 41.

    What else do you expect from a Tory Government??

    They created the problem in the first place - Thatcher selling them off - refusing to allow councils to use the receipts to build more - Now they are effectively going to cut what was left by 50%

    Where are all the Tax paybacks by the Banks?

    No wonder I vote Labour.

  • Comment number 42.

    At 10:13am on 19 Oct 2010, R wrote:
    ... people will have to move about, but that's just how it is: if you live out of the government's pocket, you go where it tells you to go; do what it says.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________
    Perhaps they could be issued with internal passports, (at their own expense, of course - nice little money earner for the government) so as to control even more.

  • Comment number 43.

    Hohoho = well the little gangs of thugs spent a few months carefully putting on the boots, methodically doing up their laces....and then they began kicking in the heads of the electorate.....now they are proceeding to kick in the doors of your house and wrecking your life......hohoho

  • Comment number 44.

    Social housing should be provided for the poorest people in society. It should not provide cheap housing for those who can afford a mortgage. It should not provide cheap housing for those who can afford to rent privately.. It should not be handed down to the next generation. These changes are an excellent idea but do not go far enough. They should be applied retrospectively within 5 years. Every time I drive through a social housing estate filled with new cars, boats and new caravans, I wonder why I bother working in order to subsidise people who can afford a far better lifestyle than me by screwing the social housing system.

  • Comment number 45.

    Another flawed attack on less well off people by the Tories and their puppets. Social housing is available for a reason, people are poor and can't afford to buy. Yes, keep a check on tenants to see if they have managed to save up a 25% deposit and, can afford a £900 a month mortgage but, don't hold your breath. Move them into private rented accomodation, ah! I wonder who owns most of the property in the private rental sector. Why of course, it's those horrible Tories and their puppets. We might be poor but wer're not stupid. Hello! the people who drive the buses, work in the kitchens, clean the streets, stack the shelves and so on will ALWAYS need social housing.

  • Comment number 46.

    18. At 10:13am on 19 Oct 2010, R wrote:
    #2 writes "I'd like to see far more affordable housing,especially in rural areas".

    This is all well and good, but 'affordable housing' absolutely destroys rural communities. Land is gobbled up and estates spring up all around and all of a sudden that quaint vestige of rural life - beautiful, community based villages - starts to disappear. People who live in rural areas do so because it's quiet and beautiful.

    -----

    Whats killing rural communities where I am is all the young people having to move away because there's nowhere affordable for them to live in the villages they grew up in.

    They move away and take their sense of community with them.

    Theres no inter-generational continuity anymore.

    I've lived in rural Warwickshire all my life and I've watched the decline in village life as people have been forced to move away.

    There are villages in south Warwickshire that used to be thriving little commuinities where the average age of the residents must be nearing 50+ -and thats just not healthy.

    I'd rather see more affordable development of these villages than continue to watch them dying a slow death as they are at the moment.


  • Comment number 47.

    Social housing will have to be reformed and that will involve cutting of the budget dramatically. The 'head in the sand' left have ignored that fact we are closing in on bankruptcy as a country. The majority of the public sector will have to be reformed and that will allow for cost savings for services we cannot afford.
    The private sector will take up some of the slack and I think that public housing should go to OUR people NOT the millions of illegal immigrants who the last 'government' incompetents let in. The should be forcably removed asap and OUR people protected as they have paid into the system or forefathers fought for OUR rights.
    People will have to take more responsibility for their own lives and decide if they should buy a bottle of Vodka or some weed or pay for a house or put shoes on their kids feet. Before you lefties say I am a Daily Mail reader, I have experience of the above. I have lived with them and am not a middle class champagne socialist who thinks saying nice things will solve the problems of the world from your armchair

  • Comment number 48.

    Social Housing should be reformed by BUILDING MORE SOCIAL HOUSES!!! Here in London there is such a shortage of affordable homes for ANYONE. I am not political - I think all parties are self-serving egotists, but I am genuinely concerned by the Tory's very clever media spin to get the national to turn on itself by creating an "underserving poor", demonising ALL immigrants, (the demonising of Islam I happen to agree with as I can see the dangers ten years down the line if it encroaches unchecked) but in doing so the government is playing a very dangerous game that could ultimately backfire into civil war!
    Social Housing should not be for life. Why SHOULD someone be allowed to life in a great area of London for "free" whilst others who work their arses off can only dream of it?
    But there needs to be more social housing or else we will see a return to the Dickensian Work House - and the government will spin it so most of the Sheeple and Daily Mail readers agree!

  • Comment number 49.

    I am too sick of seeing flash cars etc on housing estates. Its just not fair. My husband and I just feel we are being stitched up all the way. He works in construction and is now earning less money than he was 20 years ago. We managed to get together enough money to buy a shared ownership flat but even that is a struggle. Why should most of our money go on mortgage / rent when there are people in council houses costing £200 per month and living the life of riley !They should be means tested every 5 years and if they are earning a wage (even minumim wage !) they should be made to leave and do what the rest of us do...struggle !

  • Comment number 50.

    The Daily Mail must be currently pushing overpopulation as the excuse for doing, well just about anything it seems. I don't read the mail but I'm basing this presumption on the fact that all the "and quite right too" brigade on HYS are trotting this out in every debate as the justification for, well just about anything.

    What's wrong, has "it's all labours fault" worn a bit thin and tired as a bonding mantra?

    Let's be honest here, this is not in any way for the good of the country, this is to enhance the profits of property developers, the banks and the housing market. The vilification of any one who dares rent a council or housing association property now joins the ever growing list of the enemy within.

    Problem is enough people swallow this dangerous spin to allow them to socially engineer us to their profits content.

    Broken society here we come.

  • Comment number 51.

    There does need to be reforms & urgently.

    In my village there are alcoholics living in OAP bungalows, there are OAPs who have sold their houses and moved into social housing and there is a family of 6 living in a 5 bedroomed cottage having their £700 a month rent being paid by the council as neither parents are in work.

    Its beyond belief.

  • Comment number 52.

    It's about time this was sorted out; I cannot believe there are thousands of people in this country living in 'inherited' council houses! That's outrageous!! It completely goes against the spirit of council housing which should be a short-term measure until people can afford to buy their own home.

    If you want your children to inherit a house then buy one first!

  • Comment number 53.

    Local-authority-personnel actively-engaged in Housing-Benefit fraud; encouraging 'fictional' rents in-support of property-prices.
    Fair Rent Act is supposed to-reflect what a given-tenant may reasonably-afford from taxed-income; NOT landlords-mortgage.
    Assuming people wash, clean-clothes... many low-paid lucky to-receive UK£200pw after-tax; utility-bills, travel, food... horribly-expensive hence MAXIMUM rent top-notch property is UK£20pw.
    School/college/uni' leavers too effectively-barred from mortgage-market; time-to-admit 6yo 'girls' face a lifetime of lap-dancing, shelf-stacking... if they remain in the UK. If they emigrate they take YOUR-pension with-them.

  • Comment number 54.

    The whole premise of this policy is ludicrous:

    There are no "Council" house in England (very few) the Housing stock over the last 15 or so years has been effectively privatised and handed over to Quango's that are called Arms Length Management Companies. (ALMO's)

    These are NOT council owned companies, they are housing trusts, or Housing Associations, they are nothing to do with the Council's nor can a Council influence who they rent to or what they charge.

    The policy being proposed will affect around 5000 actual Council owned Homes.

    Another windbag Policy from the Con/Dems

  • Comment number 55.

    Since thatcher and its gang social housing has been under threat of disappearing - and I include nu-labour.
    In their anxiety to make as much money as they can out of the British citizen, the UK establishment has sought to introduce privately rented accomodation, which introduces penny-pinching and sleaze which typifies the crumbling housing stock in the UK presently.
    Whatever else happens, there is NOT going to be an upsurge in the building of new affordable publicly-owned rented accomodation. I predict a harsh, means tested regime which will see the situation much the same as now, but with the law being relaxed for landlords. Typically tory.

  • Comment number 56.

    Here we go, more tory ideology. So Thatcher gave social tenants the opportunity to buy their houses and now Cameron decides that, because housing stocks are subsequently so low duw to this policy, people need to be more " flexible"? What a load of hogwash. So let`s say someone wants to move from Manchester to Liverpool because of work. Would they make some 70 year old, who`s lived in her house for 45 years move just so i could follow this job? And what`s the point of bringing social rents in line with private rental? Those on benefits or minimum wage could never afford private rental prices, especially here in the south east, and if this was to be introduced the benefits bill would skyrocket. Add to that, he`s cutting the social housing budget by 50% and you have to wonder if this man is living in a dream world. You know, i look at this country and despair at what it`s becoming. Welcome to the third world.

  • Comment number 57.

    35. At 10:32am on 19 Oct 2010, Alan Baker wrote:

    In my area a 2 bedroomed house rented privately house costs approx £750 per month. how on earth are young couples and people on the minimum wage going to afford that sort of rent in social housing?


    While this is an issue, all that we are currently doing with housing benefit, etc, is driving those rental prices up (and house prices). Limit the pool of social housing (possibly by having people live in homes far larger than their needs) and you just limit supply and allow private landlords to charge more.

  • Comment number 58.

    3. At 10:03am on 19 Oct 2010, leslog wrote

    This comment is so true Thatcher's policy of selling off council houses has had a very detrimental affect on the housing problems in UK. It was done as a vote catching excercise as many people bought very well build houses cheap. The result is that the lower paid now have no chance of finding affordable housing. House prices rocketed as a result.This is particularly true in more affluent areas where lower paid workers are needed to work in the service industries just as much as anywhere else.
    This latest policy will hit the least well off but as usual this fact is of no importance or in any way understood by the multimillionaires now in charge. The CH4 programme last night " How the rich dodge tax" was a revelation. The tax dodges of members of the Cabinet were revealed and these are the people telling us "We are all in this together" It would be laughable if it was so appallingly unfair.
    As a nation we pride ourselves on our love of fairness so why on earth do we allow them to get away with it? These people control the media and have the power and we don't question their propaganda. The wealth gap is widening rapidly and unless we make a stand things will get worse with all the unpleasant social consequences involved

  • Comment number 59.

    I think's it's fairly difficult to reform something that isn't there. Most council housing, certainly in the more desirble areas has been purchased since the 1980's. Also since funding is about to drop through the floor, very little is coming on-stream. As a slightly off subject note, what message is the funding cut sending to the already beleaguered building sector?
    But back to the point, it now seems, as I have already stated elsewhere, that this very right wing tory government can push through what it likes, after the feeble acquiescence of the LibDems on tuition fees.
    The whole policy looks v similar to the child benefit policy; written on a fag packet on the bus to work. And very possibly on the cusp of unworkable.
    In short a return to basic 1980's Thatcherism.

  • Comment number 60.

    Politicians will always make life difficult in Britain for the less wealthy because it keeps them too occupied to see whats going on.Add the weakness of the British people to the mix and they probably get what they deserve - nothing.Look how the French are reacting to the pension scam by their government - Viv la France .

  • Comment number 61.

    'We are all in this together',and the continual use of the word 'fair'from millionaire tory politicians is the biggest com trick ever perpretated on the working people of this nation.If you watched channel fours programme last night,you will see how they,the tory millionaires, are avoiding paying tax in this country.And they have the brazen nerve to now try and throw people out of their council housing,probably to help there rich Rachman type supporters.This government aided and abetted by the Lib-Dem's are the cruelest,meanest,stinking,rotten cheating government ever, that this country has not elected.

  • Comment number 62.

    I read frquently how people hate those on benefits and tax credits because they can afford such things as 48` plazma tv, cable tv, computers and 5 holidays a year. Now i hear this:

    44. At 10:49am on 19 Oct 2010, Dr Prod wrote:

    Every time I drive through a social housing estate filled with new cars, boats and new caravans, I wonder why I bother working in order to subsidise people who can afford a far better lifestyle than me by screwing the social housing system.

    What planet are these people living on?! They have all these things and yet they`re classed as sink estates? And all this on benefits or minimum wage. I find it highly unlikely that government would supply benefits claimants with such copious amounts of cash. Get real people!

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    The best of social housing should be reserved for those working in low paid jobs, the retired and the genuinely disabled. The less desirable housing should go to the rest. We should not have any paid for private housing which is used by the greedy buy to let brigade to make a fortune.

  • Comment number 65.

    I might, and probably am wrong here, but all the talk of cheap social housing is, I think pretty much a myth. I am sure the same Thatcher government which insisted councils sell off their housing estate, also insisted that subsidy of council rents be abolished.
    Or am I dreaming this.
    I do know that my daughter is living in a social housing bedsit and paying £70 per week, so I am not sure where these £50 a week houses are.
    Most social housing now is provided by housing associations, so is our beloved government going to extend it's authority in this area as well?

  • Comment number 66.

    Social housing is charity. Why give charity to people who don't need it. Because house prices are too high.

  • Comment number 67.

    The whole system needs reforming. My sisters boyfriend is a perfect example of how screwed up it it (well, he is actually 2 perfect examples!)

    1) He lst his job (recession, consturction usual problem). The job seekers added to the money he was given by "the system" to help him pay his rent, and the fact I believe he didn't need to pay council tax meant that had he got a job, he would need to be paid a lot more than he would earn in the type of job he was qualified.

    2) despite the above, he was still looking for a job. and a new, cheaper flat to live in. He found a perfect flat and was set to movbe in on the Monday, with part of his rent subsidised by the state to help him. Ont eh Firday hewas offered a job (YAY!!) and his new landlord told him he couldn't move in as the landlord only wanted tennents on benefits.

    How is that fair?!?!? someone is penalised for having a job- and this almost caused him to not accept the job or else he would have had nowhere to live (luckily he was able to sleep on a friends floor until he found another flat).

  • Comment number 68.

    I too am amazed that social housing was previously awarded for life and that accomodations are handed down to the next generation. How is that helping those in need? What right does anyone have to give social housing to their children?

    No one should be offered social assistance for life; with no re-evaluation of circumstance. Housing must be assigned based on need and that need should be regularly evaluated. Larger units should be assigned to larger family needs. If the family needs change then housing should change accordingly. Contrary to many of these comments this will benefit those in need as opposed to award those who aren't in such desperate circumstance.

  • Comment number 69.

    Lets bash the poor again. It is amazing that after years of no Tories in power then to suddenly have them here again is like nothing has changed, we are back to the 80’s, starting again from where they left off. What is it with these morons? The Tories are so contradictory, hypocritical and stupid. They make huge negative assumptions about people. Maybe they need to listen to people, the Today Programme this morning was very good. People who can afford to move out of social housing do so, there is no need to enforce stupid rules and bash the poor. I detest this unelected government, we should take a leaf out of the French book!
    It is obvious that this government will increase council rents to the extortionate price of private accommodation, no security and force people into appalling housing rented by unscrupulous dodgy landlords. The poorest will only be able to live in crap rented housing/bedsits as the new cap on housing benefit comes into play! This coalition promises social mobility when in fact all it will create are ghettos of poverty, unemployment, crime and child neglect. What a wonderful place the UK is! In the meantime all these rich Tory/Libdem “censored” carry on oblivious, pathetic bunch.

  • Comment number 70.

    How dare people on this site tar people in social housing with undue criticism. I earn a minimum wage and work long hours including weekends. I pay taxes and NI. My wife works long hours again on minimum wage pays taxes and NI. We were so grateful for our house and we cherish it. My education was non-existent and basically I'm a bit of a thicko but I am proud that this country had the foresight to help those that had nothing and gave people like my wife and I a chance. However I hate the idea that a minority of people who have no concept of hardship return laws that affect so many without any thought of the consequences.

  • Comment number 71.

    36. At 10:35am on 19 Oct 2010, PompeyOops wrote:
    I don't disagree with the principle here, however, if the average wage is approx £26000 and the correct multipule for loans is 3.5 x 26000 or 2.5 £52000 how are the coalition proposing to bring houseprices down to this level.
    --------------------
    Enforce a MAXIMUM of SINGLE-LOAN-MULTIPLE [used to-be TWICE-BLOKES]; attend any magistrates-court, people clutching payslips-&-bills.
    REAL-WORLD low-paid closer-to UK£10,000 [& thats HIGH in Manchester]; effectively underwriting 'ghetto-status'.
    TAXPAYER-FUNDED rents should-reflect FAIR-RENT-ACT; where a tenant earns or potentiall-earns UK£200pw after-tax a realistic-rent is UK£20pw for a top-notch property. Weekly bus-ticket UK£11, electricity UK£10, gas UK£10, food UK£100...
    JobCentres no-longer afford sex-worker [lap-dancing...] jobs; what options remain. With no cash-fund to pay pensions... adopting Belgian... purchase-tax [17.5% 1989] nice-little-earner.

  • Comment number 72.

    I'm all in favour of reform if it will improve peoples lives but in truth this is just one of several changes to the whole property sector which will affect many people across all spectrums.

    There will always be some people who are not able to afford to buy for one reason or another and in the current economic climate with banks demanding higher and higher deposits the numbers of these people is likely to continue to grow. It will be interesting to see how many people living in social housing are deemed wealthy enough to move to privatly owned accomodation. It will also be interesting to see what criteria are used to judge their ability to move and whether banks will give them mortgages. It seems a very strange policy from a government that stated extra bureaucracy costs as a reason to not implement the child support changes in a more enlightend way, but seem to be introducing massive bureaucracy to try and work out if a family can afford a mortgage.

    I personally would like to see a one family one house rule. We have a housing shortage with not enough houses to go round and prices too high for first time buyers. As in most cases where there is a shortage I believe we should ration them. Certainly where I live in West Berkshire new housing developments are sold out very quickly but they all go to buy to lets because they can use their existing houses as capital to get better mortgages and then charge rents that are more than the mortgage repayments to make a nice tidy profit doing absolutely nothing. They buy the houses with the banks money with no intention of every living in them (or paying for them), then get someone else to pay the mortgage repayments for several years and then sell the house when the market means they can make a profit. Lots of people do it and it will hurt their "nest eggs" to stop them doing it (not to mention causing a price crash as all the buy to lets come back on the market as they need to sell them to comply with the law). But I believe it is the most obvious step to making house prices affordable and more houses available.

    Secondly there are millions of acres of unused office space across the South East. Many have been empty for years. Surely an obvious step would be to convert these offices into flats? I understand there must be some environmental laws stopping this (meaning some more work will have to be done on them to seperate toilet facilities etc) but surely having empty unused buildings when there are not enough houses is just ludicrous.

    Thirdly the right to buy council houses needs to end. It has benefitted people I know (though tellingly they bought their council house for cheap then sold it at market value and went abroad!). It is not right to sell houses that are built for people who can't afford houses.

  • Comment number 73.

    This is an absolute shambles, but I expected nothing less than that from the fools we now have running the country.

    As has already been pointed out elsewhere - note that there is absolutely no mention of private sector rental reform.

    Hardly the way to allow the less well off to build a better future. If your income is being spent on paying 'almost market rate' rentals even in social housing, how is anyone meant to save a deposit for a mortgage let alone the deposit for a slightly better rental property?

    I've rented privately for 13 years (since being a student) and am now in my 10th property. Letting agents don't offer letting agreements for more than 6 months (rolling monthly contracts thereafter) allowing landlords the opportuntity for annual rental increases - or your tenancy agreement is cancelled. I cannot afford to save much money despite being on a decent wage, the £700 rent for my flat, the £140 council tax and £80 gas/electricity bill each month significantly eat into my disposable income.

    The reason some people aspire to social housing is so that they can have some sense of belonging - a place they can call home for more than 6 months - and possibly a place cheap enough to allow them to save money to buy!

    The right-to-buy was an idiotic concept right from the start, only the good housing stock was sold (banks wouldn't lend against the poorer properties) so the council was left with poorer properties that no-one wanted and that cost more to maintain or repair. Coupled with that was a gradual erosion of funds for council housing and a ban on building new houses and we're in the situation we have now - you can only get social housing if you're in desperate need (i.e. pregnant, homeless or disabled) and unemployed. Anyone with an income is 'assumed' to be wealthy enough to rent privately.

  • Comment number 74.

    We have a housing crisis on our hands where many hard working young people cannot afford to get on the property ladder.
    We have a private rented sector which is very expensive, offers tenants little security and is in desperate need of an overhaul.
    This is a dreadful time to be cutting the social housing budget by 50%. 150,000 new affordable homes is hardly meeting the huge demand.
    I think that more socially rented homes need to be built and that the allocation of council homes needs to be reformed so that a fair percentage of houses are allocated to working people that cannot afford to buy a home of their own.
    Also, council houses should stay as council houses and never be sold!!


  • Comment number 75.

    63. At 11:17am on 19 Oct 2010, Truth_Hurty wrote:
    Why should'nt we keep our council house in the family.
    I think its wrong that they should even think of taking the family home away from us!

    If you work and have bought your house you would expect that you could pass it onto your kids so why are council houses any different?

    It is like this.

    I claim benifits, my whole family does and my father before me. Its our way of life and our career choice if you like. I am proud and if I dont want to work then that is my choice right?

    I would think a lot of people may think that we are taking advantage of tax payers and we should get a job but how wrong you are.

    Even if you work are you not taking advantage of people?

    Doctors and nurses earn a living by taking advantage of sick people.
    People working in shops take advantage of people who have to shop there.

    If you think about it everyone is taking advantage of everyone else!

    The landlord at my local pub is taking advantage of me spending a lot of my benifits there.
    The staff at the benifits office are taking advantage because I dont work.
    If it was'nt for family's like mine the country would fall apart, we are keeping jobs going and making sure that benifits are still being paid out.

    This is my career choice, my council house is my family home so leave us alone and get on with you're own lives and get over it!

    *********************************************************

    yeah we really need people like you whilst I am sitting here working my socks off and wondering how I am gonna pay my bills. How would our country cope without people like you ! You sad little person, I hope the BBC send your details to the DPWP (thats dept of work and pensions by the way !) and they stop your benefit, chuck you out of your council house and make you get a job ! Disgusting you should be ashamed of yourself. I bet your kids are really proud of there daddy / mummy arent they !

  • Comment number 76.

    It is my belief that the building of social housing has blighted many parts of this country. Regardless of who lives in 'council houses' they end up run down and riddled with crime.

    Perhaps it is because social houses create ghettos - councils should re-think how and where they accomodate those who cannot afford to rent in the public sector. In any town in the country there are examples of how not to house those in need - massing them together hasn't worked so how about an integrated housing scheme.

    I should imagine that moving on to a council estate where little care is taken of both property and the community a tenant would soon lose heart and give up trying to keep up any sort of standards.

  • Comment number 77.

    Hehehe...all you people moaning about so called "estates" with boats on the drive. Have you not thought for one moment that these are the people who purchased their council houses under Thatcher's Right to Buy? Of course not because that doesn't fit into your blinkered, bitter view of "them" and "us".

    The problem of a lack of social housing is a legacy of a Conservative Government from thirty years ago that followed the discredited economic/political ideology of the Chicago school. This is the same school of economics that blames Government intervention for the Credit Crunch, not the greed and duplicity of the banking sector.

    And frighteningly Cameron is still following their teachings.

    The poor, the weak and the disabled are ail in for a real kicking in the coming years as they are simply viewed as unproductive economic units that are a drain on UK Plc.

    I fear where this country is going.

  • Comment number 78.

    One thing which does rile me and needs fixing- anyone who lives in a council house should be banned from sky TV, have some form of limit placed on the cost of their car- possibly limited to one car per household depending on their situation, etc. If people who pay their own rent/mortgage can't afford it, why should people who pay nothing?!

    Also, there should be some form of 2 strikes and you are out with AntiSocial behaviour- with regular checks to make sure they are looking after the properties. If I was renting and didn't respect the house, I would be thrown out!

  • Comment number 79.

    council tenants keep their property for life unless they breach their tenancy agreement, they can also pass their homes onto their children.

    That's going to annoy a few mortgage-slaves. Probably up there with the discovery that capping housing benefit at £400 per week is a radical move

  • Comment number 80.

    The problem is that the unfettered market-led approach to putting a roof over your family's heads just isn't working - and remember that it led at least in part to the current economic crisis (I refer you to the US sub-prime scam, which started off with the issuing of large mortgages to those unable to pay them!). Has the abundance of 'buy-to-let' housing brought down prices? Of course it hasn't. I can understand that the Government needs to bring down the deficit; after all, its hands are tied - by the markets, which see social responsibility merely as a PR opportunity! If the Government needs to cut housing budgets, then it has to at the same time establish a new Rent Act that would closely-examine the issue of regional affordability and slum landlords. After all, housing (I hate that vulgar Thatcherite term 'property'!) is of immense public importance. And it accounts for by far the average adult's biggest outgoing. I have a friend of modest income who is lucky enough to live in a council house. He pays half the rent that his neighbour does - needless to say, the neighbour lives in an ex-council buy-to-let (part of the 'portfolio' of someone who works in 'financial services', apparently). The policy of selling off council houses needs to be re-evaluated, not least because councils are now often forced to rent from the private sector. And that's poor public value for money!

  • Comment number 81.

    Our nation is becoming more and more nasty every day that passes!

    Do it to them - not me!

  • Comment number 82.



    I would think a lot of people may think that we are taking advantage of tax payers and we should get a job but how wrong you are.

    Even if you work are you not taking advantage of people?

    Doctors and nurses earn a living by taking advantage of sick people.
    People working in shops take advantage of people who have to shop there.

    If you think about it everyone is taking advantage of everyone else!

    The landlord at my local pub is taking advantage of me spending a lot of my benifits there.
    The staff at the benifits office are taking advantage because I dont work.
    If it was'nt for family's like mine the country would fall apart, we are keeping jobs going and making sure that benifits are still being paid out.

    This is my career choice, my council house is my family home so leave us alone and get on with you're own lives and get over it!

    ------

    I hear the sound of the mob lighting their torches and collecting the farming implements...

  • Comment number 83.

    63. At 11:17am on 19 Oct 2010, Truth_Hurty wrote:
    Why should'nt we keep our council house in the family.
    I think its wrong that they should even think of taking the family home away from us!

    If you work and have bought your house you would expect that you could pass it onto your kids so why are council houses any different?

    It is like this.

    I claim benifits, my whole family does and my father before me. Its our way of life and our career choice if you like. I am proud and if I dont want to work then that is my choice right?

    I would think a lot of people may think that we are taking advantage of tax payers and we should get a job but how wrong you are.

    Even if you work are you not taking advantage of people?

    Doctors and nurses earn a living by taking advantage of sick people.
    People working in shops take advantage of people who have to shop there.

    If you think about it everyone is taking advantage of everyone else!

    The landlord at my local pub is taking advantage of me spending a lot of my benifits there.
    The staff at the benifits office are taking advantage because I dont work.
    If it was'nt for family's like mine the country would fall apart, we are keeping jobs going and making sure that benifits are still being paid out.

    This is my career choice, my council house is my family home so leave us alone and get on with you're own lives and get over it!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    If this guy is for real then all I can say is I'm glad I dont live in UK anymore. I do still pay taxes in UK though, so really Im helping to fund his career choice...How benevolent of me...


  • Comment number 84.

    Social housing is about maintaining discretionary consumption in a low wage economy where rising house prices are used as a tool to win elections.

    We need to build 2 million private homes and limit the income multiple on mortgages. But none of you will vote for this because the value of your home would go down. So stop moaning about immigration and lazy people and accept that the need for social housing and the disaster that is the credit crisis has the same cause. Home-owning voter greed.

  • Comment number 85.

    63. At 11:17am on 19 Oct 2010, Truth_Hurty wrote

    I hope to god you are kidding!! If not, you are in serious need of a life rethink.

    The main difference between you "taking advantage" of the money given to you, taken away from other people who have EARNED it and doctors and nurses "taking advantage" if sick people is that they are actually doing something to earn their money. (how a beneifts scrounger and even begin to think of comparing themself to a doctor who has dedicated their life to helping others is quite fankly beyond me! but that's another rant)

    Similarly, the people who WORK to EARN the money to buy their own homes to pass down their children- what exactly have you done to EARN your house?

    On one thing, you are technically right, it is your chioce not to work- but in the same way, it could be my choice to kill you- doesn't make it right or mean I should do it does it! Everyone has to do something they don't want. It's called life and being a GROWN UP.

    What exactly have you done in your life to make the world a better place? Got drunk with money hardworking people are forced to give you? Geewizz, someone get the sainthood ready

  • Comment number 86.

    If they cut the housing budget, just where exactly are they planning to house all these immigrants they keep letting in?

    Or more pertinently just where are they going to house those Brits who need it most?

  • Comment number 87.

    polly_gone (and I do mean "gone") wrote" ""It doesn't matter how good, honest, honourable, compassionate, hardworking, thoughtful, decent you are, we are going to take it from you, when we say so.""

    And so whence came this quote? Or is it yet another figment of your fevered imagination?

  • Comment number 88.

    Let's be honest here; this whole episode has a root cause. The obscene cost of housing in this country which is finally coming home to roost. For as long as this goes without being addressed, house prices will remain high; which means private rents will remain high; which means there will be demand for council funded low-rent properties from the lowest paid. Incidentally these are the people who often do the jobs of most importance to the actual structure of our nation. For as long we continue our property price naval-gazing demand for council housing will always by high. The way forward is to make private sector rental a more appealing alternative. Bring the prices down.

  • Comment number 89.

    Social housing should reflect the needs of the applicant...
    If that changes over time (children leave home, applicant gets a decent job....) then the housing provided should change. If the person no longer needs housing then it should be withdrawn. If the person has a 4 bed house but now all the children have left they should be moved. This is just common sense.
    (Which is somewhat better than massacaring our ability to defend territory as they have done hacking the aircraft carriers and planes out of the Royal Navy - that was just plain STUPID).

  • Comment number 90.

    77. At 11:29am on 19 Oct 2010, Pete wrote:

    Hehehe...all you people moaning about so called "estates" with boats on the drive. Have you not thought for one moment that these are the people who purchased their council houses under Thatcher's Right to Buy? Of course not because that doesn't fit into your blinkered, bitter view of "them" and "us".

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Oh it goes way beyond Thatcher's right to buy, some of these houses will be on their fourth or fifth owner since then, all paid for on the private housing market, but some folk don't seem to understand that.

  • Comment number 91.

    63. At 11:17am on 19 Oct 2010, Truth_Hurty wrote:

    Also, when reading through your other comments on other topics- you complain in one about foreigners "taking our jobs" why doyou care if you don't want to work!

  • Comment number 92.

    I grew up in a council house in a family of seven. By the time all the children reached adulthood and bought their own homes, and after my father had died, my mother was left as the sole occupant.

    Under the existing rules she could have stayed in that house ad-infinitum and I, or one of my siblings, could have moved back at any time to take over the tenancy.

    However, my mother asked to be moved into smaller accommodation, which I personally think was the right thing to do, as it allowed the house to be occupied by a more deserving family.

    All this policy is trying to do is ensure that the families who need social housing the most will get it which I don't think is such a bad thing.

    The bigger issue here in the UK is Buy-to-Let and the ridiculously high rents being charged in the private sector. All a result of the credit fuelled property boom of the late nineties and early noughties.

  • Comment number 93.

    This simply seems to be a way of forcing even more of us into a lifetime of debt. We have a desperate lack of truly affordable housing, all of which needs to be rentable from reliable, not-for-profit landlords. This policy is deliberately calculated to make the housing crisis a lot worse. A calculated, entirely immoral act by what is supposed to be our government.

  • Comment number 94.

    The only problem with affordable housing is that there is insufficient stock for those who need it... a demand which will only increase as the government's inability to meet its obligations causes people to lose their jobs.

  • Comment number 95.

    Housing is artificially inflated. There is no reason not to have adequate housing that families can purchase with their own income. Banks inflate the costs of mortgage payments. If the government loaned directly to citizens and bypassed the bank there'd be plenty of money for housing construction and infrastructure development. The government needs to print its own money and make its own loans. Get rid of the banking Mafia cartel.

  • Comment number 96.

    This lousy new government has slashed benefits, slashed hundreds of thousands of jobs and is now taking away affordable housing. Yes the Tory party has changed David Cameron, it's even more cruel that it was in the 1980'.

    How do you sleep at night Liberal MP's?

  • Comment number 97.

    Perhaps "social" / "Council" housing should only be allocated on a short-term lease basis (say, six months to a year) - just like most private rented accommodation is.

    After the lease period the tenant would either have to re-apply for a new "social" / "Council" housing allocation - or make their own arrangements and find a private rental property, or get a mortgage and buy a property. Re-application should NOT give you any priority over other people on the waiting list OR guarantee you will be allocated the same property you already occupy. Social housing should always go to the most needy.

    Loads of people have - or chose - to move frequently as their lease expires and do so without major problem. Why should sitting tenants in subsidised housing be given a Golden Ticket to a house for life?

  • Comment number 98.

    #75 - I don't think #63 was being serious

    Although the logic does have a familiar ring to it from the past decade

  • Comment number 99.

    Sensible reform is of course needed. I did find it strange though that in regard to rents why put up rents to private housing levels rather than bring private rents down to more reasonable levels? Rents are set by rent officers so we assume therefore that rents in social housing are fair for the type of property. Begs the question why private rents are sometimes double or treble for similar housing types in social housing. Also explains the need for a cap on housing benefit in the private sector for rent payments. There wouldn't be a need for a cap if rents were more reasonable in the first place.
    There also has to be a long hard look at immigration and how housing is allocated there.

  • Comment number 100.

    12. At 10:10am on 19 Oct 2010, Roger_The_Cat_Too wrote:
    I'm going to hate myself for agreeing with a Tory but it should have been done long ago. Both pairs of my Grandparents had 3 bedroom council houses. That was fine when they had a full household but even when widowed my Grandmothers continued to live in the same houses until they died.
    -------------
    Local-authorities, housing-associations [many landlords too] NOT-interested in maintaining properties; hence modernisation falls-upon tenants.
    Tenants living in a 'squat' whilst TAXPAYER pays-off a landlords-mortgage get the worst-possible deal.

 

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