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Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Mick Hume's wisdom on housing

Very poor article by Mick Hume. He is stereotyping council housing as being intrinsically bad, so building more only condemns tenants to bad lives.

There are lots of council houses and estates I know of, which are no-go zones full of smashed up cars and broken windows with the stairways running with urine. But if they were private they would be really nice places to live.

The problems are:
The housing is effectively given away, rents are so low so as to look like they are free. The tenants can value them accordingly and treat them badly. If they were charged real money, they would look after them better, even if they were given rent money through the benefit system, as private tenants are.
The housing is heavily subsidised, but it is only means tested once when it is first given. If instead market rents were charged, rent money could be given depending on individual circumstances and vary as these change.

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