Monday, 29 May 2017

Over-egging it

From: Closed circuit

One landlord was left with egg on its face this week over plans it hatched to offer confectionery to tenants as a ‘small thank you’ for paying the bedroom tax.

It might have seemed like a cracking idea at the time, but in the current climate landlords are treading on eggshells where the bedroom tax is concerned. And it all turned into a sticky mess for Welsh housing association Valleys to Coast when its ‘patronising’ offer hit the front page of a national newspaper.

While the national coverage did probably over-egg the story, Valleys to Coast did not chicken out - arguing that its offer remained a sweet deal for tenants.

And despite the negative tone of the coverage, it couldn’t have asked for wider publicity for its money advice service, making the saga a bit of a curate’s egg.

Trade union Unite offered Closed Circuit the chance to take a tour of London’s housing crisis recently.

With the housing crisis being very much a problem of things not being there, Closed Circuit was slightly confused about what Unite would be touring. It turned out to be a hire bus full of Unite activists ‘wending its way through Barnet, Brent and Westminster’.

Closed Circuit isn’t sure what Unite hoped to learn about the housing crisis while stuck in traffic on Kilburn High Street, but after weighing up the offer, it decided to give the trip a miss.

An arm’s-length management organisation showed new levels of resourcefulness this week.

The Salix Homes press team sent out a release to publicise the fact they had ‘transformed’ more than 120 plant pots taken during a Greater Manchester Police drugs raid.

The landlord gave the pots, which had previously contained cannabis plants, to local children at a community centre to paint in an ‘array of bold colours and vivid designs’ before they were used to decorate an estate.

Closed Circuit assumes the children enjoyed the recycling arts project but hopes they realise they can ‘just say no’ in future.

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