A letter a day to number 10. No 1,291
Sunday 20 December 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
I’ve been looking again at your attack on lifetime tenancies in social housing because it contains another, typical, Tory falsehood.
Before I get to that, though, the Guardian reports that the government communities department considers tenancies for life are an inefficient use of scarce resources. That is an astonishing and shameful thing to say as it poses a solution from entirely the wrong end of the problem. Social housing is scarce for two reasons, local authority social house building has all but been abandoned and ‘right to buy’ was always a disaster in the making. The current housing crisis is no accident, it is a crisis created by policy.
As the last British deep coal mine closes along with the recent loss of Britain’s steel works our catastrophic decline as an industrial, producing, nation into a consuming nation continues unabated, apart from arms manufacturers which, with heavy government support, won’t be closing down any time soon.
The solution to the housing crisis is blindingly obvious, build, produce! If Osborne was serious about getting the economy growing and you were serious about work paying and people having decent secure jobs, investment in building social housing would be an enormous social and economic good. If social housing is a ‘scarce resource’, and it is, do something about it. A building programme would boost jobs and increase social and community security, which is the last thing you want and brings me to my final point.
The claim that ending lifetime tenancies would increase social mobility is entirely false. Social mobility occurs with increasing prosperity and available housing, neither of which is being pursued by you, quite the reverse. Rampant inequality and poverty are national disasters and a matter of Tory policy.
Far from creating social mobility, ending life time tenancies will cause massive displacement, hardship and social disintegration aimed specifically at working class communities. That’s the reality of this loathsome policy and what it’s all about.