Grant Shapps, the housing minister, said it was “blindingly obvious” that local authorities should seek to sell properties worth “millions” in order to use their resources “more efficiently” .Yes. Yes, Grant, it is.
His intervention was made as new research found that more than a fifth of council house tenants in England are living in homes worth more than the average privately-owned home in their areas.*sigh*
And, naturally, there are people desperate to continue this sorry state of affairs:
Critics warned that it would lead to “social cleansing” , with low-paid workers progressively moved out of more expensive areas.Now, apart from the advantage it gives the Guardian-reading set to not have their domestic servants have to travel so far, as Rob points out in the comments at Tim Worstall’s post, just what benefit do we (‘we’ as in society) get to having this fabled ‘social mix’?
Alex Morton, a former civil servant who wrote the report, added: “Social housing tenants deserve a roof over their heads, but not one better than most people can afford, particularly as expensive social housing means less social housing and so longer waiting lists for most people in need.”Well, quite! After all, in a high-income area, the goods and services on offer will be geared towards just that sort of clientele, pushing the low-income budget even further.
Pushing them, in fact, into ‘poverty’. I thought the left were agin’ that?
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “We have a huge shortage of homes and urgently need to start building more and part of that solution is that housing associations should be able to take advantage of the value of their properties in different ways.
“However, the idea of selling off social housing in 'high value’ areas to build more in cheaper areas is fundamentally flawed.
“It could effectively cleanse many towns of hard-working people who simply can’t afford the high prices of buying or renting privately.”When he says ‘hard working people’, is that progressive speak for ‘Well, now where am I going to find a gardener?’ do you suppose..?