Thursday 23 August 2012 10.09am
Stream of consciousness thougths below - it's clearly a very complex issue. If we looked at it purely from an economic perspective, all council tenants would be pushed out of prime areas and private housing put in its place to raise money for the council. However, it's not that simply - there are very significant benefits to having mixed communities.
- Southwark Council
tenants pay around £250/month. That is around a quarter of the average private rent in SE1.
Is this actually right?
- Council Tenants pay the same amount of rent regardless of whether they live next to theTate Modern
with a river view, or whether they live in Peckham.
I think the question here is whether it is appropriate to have council housing in prime locations. Economically, it makes sense to sell off prime sites to re-develop for private housing and then re-locate council tenants to cheaper areas.
- Even if a Council tenant earns more than £100,000, they only need to pay the standard subsidised rent.
This is obviously crazy. If you earn more than £100,000 - or even £50,000 - you should be able to stand on your own two feet and pay to rent in the private sector. It would be interesting to know how many council tenants earn this much.
- A three bedroom Council flat near Guys Hospital is currently on the market for £400,000.
- Council Housing was originally intended for working families.
So what happens to those who genuinely cannot work?
- When Bermondsey was a separate Borough, priority was given to local people or people who could prove a strong connection to the local area.
Makes sense to me.
- Should Council rents more accurately reflect the market rent for the area?
Yes, but there is no use putting rents up if people cannot afford to pay them.
- Should priority for Council Housing be given to working families?
Yes, but query what happens to those who cannot work.
- Should high-earners be allowed to live in Council Housing?
- Should the long-term unemployed, who have refused to accept job offers, be re-housed in lower employment areas - allowing more Council Housing for working people in SE1?
Sounds good in theory, not sure how it works in practice. Also, I think there is a big problem here in that the system does not favour work over long term benefits. If you take an entry level job on £15k a year, you'll actually be worse off than if you'd stayed on benefits. This is clearly nuts and we need to give incentives to people who want to get out and work who have been on benefits long term.
- Should priority be given to local people for Council House allocation?
- Should Council Tenants be allowed to sell their homes? Would the money be better off in the hands of the Council, so they can build more housing?