Saturday, 27 August 2016

Ministers’ views condemned as an ‘insult’ to social tenants

Housing chiefs slam Shapps’ allocation comments

Senior housing figures have hit out at Grant Shapps for controversial comments about social housing tenants.

The housing minister yesterday said: ‘For years the system for social housing has been associated with injustice – where rewards are reaped for those who know how to play the system best.

‘Despite this terrible image a lazy consensus in social housing has ensured that, for an entire generation, no-one has bothered to do anything about it.’

The housing minister made the comments yesterday as a consultation on the government’s new allocations policy, which urges councils to prioritise tenants who are seeking work, was launched.

Mr Shapps’ comments angered a number of chief executives, who said there was little evidence for the minister’s claim that there is injustice in the allocations system.

Tom Murtha, chief executive of 32,000-home association Midland Heart, said Mr Shapps comments are an ‘insult’ to people living in social housing.

Mr Murtha said: ‘I am appalled that Mr Shapps can suggest that we have been complacent in the sector and that the system creates injustice. I am not aware of any evidence that supports this. In fact, the evidence that exists suggests the contrary.

‘The vast majority of people living in social housing are decent people striving to live positive lives, often in difficult circumstances. Mr Shapps’ comments are an insult to these people and their families.’

Mr Murtha said Midland Heart’s homes are already let to those who most need them.

Keith Exford, chief executive of 55,000-home Affinity Sutton, said: ‘To make sweeping generalizations about four million people is pretty uncalled for.’

Readers' comments (33)

Comments are only open to subscribers of Inside Housing

Already a subscriber?

If you’re already a subscriber to Inside Housing, your subscription may not be linked to your online account. You can link your subscription from within the My Account section of the website and clicking on Link My Account.

Not yet a subscriber?

If you don't yet subscribe to Inside Housing, please visit our subscription page to view our various subscription packages.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up

Related

Articles

  • Peers slam focus on homeownership

    15 July 2016

    The government’s “narrow focus” on homeownership and failure to build more homes for social rent has been slammed by the House of Lords’ Economic Affairs Committee.

  • MPs slam 'lack of clarity' over RTB funding

    29 April 2016

    A committee of MPs has slammed the government for a “completely unacceptable” lack of clarity over the funding of the Right to Buy (RTB) extension.

  • Scottish councils slam move to 'call in' appeals

    8 March 2016

    Councils in Scotland have criticised the Scottish Government’s proposal to automatically ‘call-in’ all planning appeals involving developments of 100 units or more.

  • Labour and Lib Dems slam Right to Buy deal

    25 September 2015

    Labour and the Liberal Democrats have hit out at the ‘backroom deal’ between housing associations and the government to extend the Right to Buy without legislation.

  • Councils slam office-to-resi 'free-for-all'

    10 September 2015

    Office-to-resi rules are leading to a planning “free-for-all” in which affordable housing is not being delivered, London Councils has warned.

IH Subscription