I couldn't agree more Joe, in terms of time and resources taken up by ASBO's (and ASB eviction cases) They are a massive drain on the budgets involved. Most ASB eviction cases easily cost £10k as you'd have to have regular meetings with solicitiors and get solicitors to have meetings with witnesses to ensure the statements were ina format that wouldn't be challenged (which I'm sure is a cartel like agreement by prosecution and defence solicitors!)
I'd estimate the ASBO cases we took were around £10-15k, one was a shade under £20k as the defendant got legal aid, who managed to get it to the point where QC's had to be appointed.
I can't see what will be done to redeem the reputation of social housing, whilst not wishing to prejudice anyone, the current "needs" system does tend to result in the larger sought after family homes in the better areas often being allocated to family units that often have complex needs, i.e they're probably in need as they've been made homeless, often due to other factors than simply as AST running out. These families in turn then often don't get off on the right foot with others in the area, often trouble is wrongly (or rightly) attributed to these families and so it goes on.....