Thursday, 14 September 2017

We need a completely new approach to social housing

 Before I start I should announce I live in a former council house which my father bought  partly to ensure that I had somewhere to live when he died.

The BBC reports that

" Plaid Cymru AM has accused a party colleague of undermining its policy on the right to buy council houses.

Bethan Jenkins demanded Neil McEvoy delete a Facebook post objecting to Welsh Labour ministers' plans - backed by Plaid - to stop council house sales.

Mr McEvoy said right-to-buy was the "one realistic way" many working-class people had of owning their own home.

But Ms Jenkins, the party's housing spokeswoman, said social housing should not be sold off.

A bill to abolish the right-to-buy is currently making its way through the Welsh Assembly, although a number of councils have already been given permission to suspend the policy.

They include Cardiff, where Mr McEvoy is also a councillor".

On September 8 he posted a video to Facebook of a speech in the assembly earlier this year where he protested against the Welsh Government's policy.
In a comment alongside the video, he said: 

 "Sell council houses to working-class people. Use the money to build new ones. Seems simple enough. Not after this room full of multiple home owners, led by Labour, banned the sale of Council houses.
"That was the one realistic way people on the estates had of owning their own home one day. Not anymore."

Ms Jenkins, in a public reply on Facebook, told Mr McEvoy: 

"I strongly suggest you take this post down.
"Following INTERNAL email conversations I told you in no uncertain terms that Plaid policy is to support ending the right to buy."
She said the party's policy had been stated "time and again".
"I think you own your own home so please do not take the moral high ground here," she said.
"You are actively undermining that view, the party policy of Plaid Cymru, and the work myself and [Plaid AM] Sian Gwenllian have done on the committee looking at this legislation. Social housing is necessary to keep as that - social.
"We cannot sell off more homes so that they are off the market and unable to be accessed."

Ms Jenkins's post has since been deleted.

I'm with Ms Jenkins on this how 
Mr McEvoy can think "Use the money to build new ones. Seems simple enough"., unless you sell them at least market price is beyond me.

There may well be a difference in Cardiff where Private Housing may well be beyond the reach but once you sell to tenants then that to  becomes Private accommodation.

You only have to see programs like "Homes under the Hammer" which often sees former local authority  homes being bought by those seeking to rent them in the public centre

We need a investigation to see how many former local authority homes are now  being run by private landlords.

But we need more than this we need a new approach to housing and greater help to those who wish to own their homes rather than rent.

Those who do rent from local authorities need to be assured that if they were to die, then their children will be allowed to take up the tenancy and not evicted after a very short period as is often the case.

How can you justify evicting someone who as regarded  from what they see as their  Home all their life?

We need a new approach to social housing and whereas I can't see Mr Mcevoy and Ms Jenkins working t together on this, Plaid and other parties need to come up with one.


1 comment:

  1. I think you mean Neil McEvoy Glyn, and not Neil Evans, (who taught us at Harlech!) in your second quotation of his words.

    But I agree, something radically different needs to be done to enhance social housing provision, and make it genuinely affordable, which it increasingly isn't at the present. There are radical solutions out there, but none in government or the private sector would welcome those as they all tend to empower the people who live in the social housing rather than enrich landlords or enhance the reputations of complicit politicians. Indeed, perhaps the whole concept of ownership, as opposed to possession needs to be queried?