Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Who To Believe on Tenancy?

Was listening to the Today programme on the radio while driving to Gosport yesterday to see a customer. There was an item about the economies of the EU, where it was stated that the UK economy is in good health and growing due to the UK having taken the medicine of austerity. This was immediately followed by an item on Nicola Sturgeon calling for an end to cuts as it was damaging the UK economy. I'm more inclined to believe the economist than Nicola Sturgeon, especially as we hear that politicians have a propensity to tell lies.

People are getting all het up about Tory plans to extend the right to buy. I can't see why, though I'm no expert on council houses.

If someone can afford to buy their council house, then surely taking the property out of the social housing stock, releasing the equity and reinvesting it in more social housing for those who actually need it seems sense. If someone can afford to buy their home (admittedly with a discount), then surely they no longer need to be in social housing? It accounts for the fact that people's circumstances change, whereas keeping them in council properties is a waste of a resource.

The fact the ex council tenant may sell up immediately and make a profit is neither here nor there. As for the properties being sold to Tory chums, surely that's a fallacy, as the onward sale is controlled by the ex tenant. Even then the property is sold on at market value, which can't be all that high if located in a council estate where the majority can't afford to buy in the first place.

I suppose there is a drive for council tenants to over-extend themselves for a short period to buy their property in the hope of making a profit in a very short space of time, but they would still need to buy somewhere else, and fast.

The plan surely consumes less of our taxes than simply building more social housing, as the new stock would be partially funded by council tenants no longer needing to be in social housing buying their homes?

Perhaps someone can put me straight on this?


  1. In the past councils have sold off the housing stock (and have been glad to be rid of the liability) but they did not replace it, instead enjoying the cash boost. In some better areas the low percentage of remaining stock has gone to housing associations. Your plan of reinvestment never happened.

    1. OK - so as long as they reinvest, as they have promised (and as I believe was not promised by the Thatcher administration), there's nothing wrong with the plan?

    2. The plan is fine if they reinvest.