Tag: social housing

Shropshire Council delivers one of the lowest proportions of social housing against market housing in the country. That’s claimed to be down to market conditions but I can’t help feeling that it also has a lack of ambition towards social rented housing. On #HousingDay, a national survey for the National Housing Federation shows: More than half of the British public support more social housing being built in their local area (58%). Four-fifths say social housing should be available for people who can’t afford private renting as well as being a safety net for the most vulnerable (80%). More than two out of three people say that social housing plays an important role in tackling poverty (67%). That’s strong support for social housing at a point when government and local policies are tipped towards market housing.

I welcome the new tools for dealing with antisocial behaviour brought in last month. They will make it easier to control disruptive people and to evict antisocial tenants. But I am nervous the new public spaces protection order could be used to restrict environmental and other protests and demonstrations. I also worry that we won’t have enough police and council staff to implement the wide range of measures introduced under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (ASB Act). The community trigger looks set to be one of the most useful new tools. In this county, the trigger is called the Shropshire Safer Stronger Communities Partnership Community Trigger Process. Individuals, businesses and community groups can activate the community trigger if they think agencies have not done enough to address antisocial behaviour. To apply the trigger, people must have made three previous reports of incidents of antisocial behaviour in six months. The trigger requires that agencies find a solution to the antisocial behaviour. People and organisations can trigger the trigger, either because they are themselves a victim or on behalf of a victim.

The bedroom tax that comes into force today slaps an extra £14 a week on social tenants with a room that is deemed to be “spare”. This tax is iniquitous. It will undermine families, communities and friendships. It will not solve the fundamental problem of a shortage of affordable housing. It will force tenants to divert money from food and heating, and risk their health in doing so. What daft person in Westminster failed to realise that families need stability and that this will be undermined by shuffling them around according to an arbitrary view of need for bedrooms? What should the government have done? It should end the Right to Buy which reduces stock housing stock. It should allow more homes to be built by permitting councils to increase borrowing against future rental income. This would boost local employment, as well as creating wider opportunities for social tenants to downsize, upsize and move between areas. A flexible social housing will strengthen society, not undermine it. In the last few years, we have abandoned a social housing policy that provides homes in favour of one that regards housing merely as numbers, not family homes. We have adopted policies that undermine…

Read more…
Back to top