What Matters? 2

Mimi ON Aug 06, 2010 AT 9:44 am

Council Homes

Council Homes

Council homes are no ‘longer for life.’

Seems like there’s been a bit of a ding dong in the coalition government this week. Liberal Democrat leader Simon Hughes hasn’t exactly backed Prime Minister, David Cameron’s plans to bring an end to ‘council housing for life’.

On one side of the ring we have David Cameron. He wants to introduce a lease that would run for five or ten years. The idea is that people would be encouraged to move on, get back to work and eventually rent privately. It’s also hoped that parents whose children leave the family home will move into smaller homes, so a larger family can take over their house.

On the other side of the ring we have Simon Hughes. He reckons it’s a radical idea, that could break up communities. He goes on to say that it’s important for people who are on low incomes, out of work, or retired that they have security.

Ok, so that’s the argument. Let’s add a dose of realism here. How many people who are on benefits are going to be motivated by this scheme to get a job, say goodbye to their free or low rent home and then start paying high levels of rent through a private landlord?

Is Cameron that deluded that he thinks people who have been out of work will walk straight into a high paying, well rewarded jobs? It’s hard enough for graduates in a job dead market, let alone everyone else that may not have the skills or expertise.

It also doesn’t seem fair that people who have happy memories of bringing their children up in their home should be forced to leave. What about people who work near where they live? People build their whole lives around the communities they live in through friendships and support networks. It also feels like people would never have the chance to settle as their homes would not be homes, but places to live for 5 or 10 years.

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