What is Social Housing there for...
04/02/2011 11:06 am
I ask this not to pass judgment but because I would like to guage feedback from others - be it those working in Social Housing, those who are tenants and generally anyone who has an opinion!
Is social housing a right for all time irrespective of what happens in life - or is it a safety net to catch those who need it when they need it (and then passed to the next person who needs it when the original persons needs have passed)"?
Thank you :)
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04/02/2011 12:31 pm
social housing is there to abolish or reduce homelessness.
However once someone in social need of housing is housed social housing duty is to make sure his/her housing is safe, secure and lasting. Temporary social housing is not a solution to homelessness, as once social housing is made insecure, unsafe or unworthy, or tenants are not respected and protected as customers, it will fail to reduce homelessness.
04/02/2011 12:33 pm
I'll be honest I'm not really sure where I stand on this anymore. I started off in my career as an enthusiastic yet somewhat naive graduate trainee at a large RSL with a true belief that social housing was there to catch those with the greatest need. However (and PLEASE trolls don't attack me for this) after a while in Housing Management I became a bit more frustrated by those who blatantly worked the system to their advantage. This gives a bad name to those who genuinely are in need but it's what I witnessed.
If I'm honest, I don't think a tenancy should be for life and certainly not passed down to children. In an ideal world if the gap between social housing rents and private sector rents were reduced then the incentive for people to change their circumstances and move on could possibly be greater. There does however have to be a way of providing for those who are genuinely in need and are not in a position to change their circumstances.
I don't know. It's not simple to figure out given the system we seem to be stuck with and I'm guessing Shapps isn't going to do much out to change it. Just thoughts which I'm aware are simplistic.
04/02/2011 1:00 pm
Social housing exists because people need homes they can afford to pay for.
Social housing as 'starter homes' that (all bar the most vulnerable people) move on from once their circumstances have improved is the OZ way.
I think social housing as a choice that anyone can take, regardless of income, is the ideal way. There will be a small minority who will opt to live in basic need decent homes rather than don the mortgage noose but most who can afford it will exercise greater choice in style and substance. I do not think social housing should be means tested or ring-fenced and I do not believe personal or social value judgements about who should or should not qualify for an affordable rent or purchase is are helpful in an equitable or just society.
04/02/2011 1:09 pm
My view is similar to Lily's- I too joined the sector naively beliving that we were working for the common good, but too many years of seeing people maintaining massive rent arrears whilst taking regular holidays and having a huge LCD TV with sky package made me realise that for all the people out there in despearate need, or all the people who work their nuts off on the minimum wage to keep their rent account up to date, there are people who may not be actaually abusing the system, but are certainly taking full advantage at the cost of others.
I no longer see it as a right, but as a safety net- some people may always need that safety net and a home for life, others cling to the bottom of the net when as a society we should be shaking them loose (with support and assistance).
04/02/2011 2:16 pm
Social Housing exists because of the failing of the private sector to provide secure sanitory housing for people regardless of their abilty to pay. This led to the unprofitable position of a shortage of working people following deaths from exposure and disease. Without a mass working class to explot the elite had nobody to do the work for them. Thus the idea of providing basic housing for the poor was born, first by industrialists, but then, because the industrialists are clever, by the State. The industrialists realised that they could force the poor to pay through taxes what they had previously paid from profits.
A less brutal view is that the State recognised the basic human need for shelter, and as a prosperous country decided to enable all to be housed, regardless of income level. The original social housing was available to all, and indeed housed a diverse mix, from the poorest to the leaders of businesses. Only if, and when, such income blind access to housing is restored will we again enjoy the sorts of safe and secure communities we all desire (and some of us remember living in).
If, as Shapps contends, social housing is only a safety net for the most unfortunate and those without option then the outcome of this model can be looked at clearly as central Warsaw in 1943; but then if that what the Minister wants it appears there are many eager for him to succeed - his medai friends for instance.
04/02/2011 3:01 pm
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04/02/2011 4:59 pm
That's not what I meant by tenants blatantly working the system to their advantage, it has nothing to do with rent arrears so no, it is not down to the failure of housing management. I don't really understand the rest of your post to be honest.
04/02/2011 10:19 pm
So Eva's solution to rent arrears:
Stage 1. Interview, tenant check with passport and driving license (I have neither so would probably be evicted for never going abroad or learning to drive.
Stage 2. Gather evidence to value of the property owned by the tenant, wonder how much she will get for my blond blue eye teenage daughter.
Stage 3. send round the heavies, and refuse to do any repairs except emergencies.
Just forget the courts, signposting debt management advice, income maximisation or anything that would help the tenant keep their home.
This from someone who constantly complains about their landlord not following procedures, looks to attack them on anything they can find, even if they don't understand it, and complains about tenant rights being abused.
Sorry but if I was Eva's landlord, who she has not named at least twice, I would not want her anywhere near discussions on local offers, and as a tenant I would want it less.
05/02/2011 12:26 pm
I think Lily sums up view of many. I suppose practically social housing is there for whoever the Government of the time decides....previous labour goverment promoted social housing as a tenure of choice to a large degree, whereas coalition see it very much as a temporary safety net and stepping stone to home ownership
In my view we need a balanced housing sector that combines social housing that charges a rent based on ablity to pay, home ownership and a regulated private rented sector