Gresley - we are looking at the same thing from different perspectives and we seem to be reaching similar conclusions.
I think you are right, the whole system needs a major overhaul, which is what I have been proposing. It would create some instantaneous pain for some while the imbalance between social housing and private housing is removed, but ultimately I believe that the only sensible way forward is for social housing to be self-financing.
This could be achieved along with the reintroduction of the housing association ethic of providing decent and affordable homes at minimum cost and without profit motivation.
We need to get back to a system that is fair for all and less open to exploitation for personal financial gain.