I just cannot get my head around the fact that Claire Kober is so brazenly promising tenants will be looked after in the HDV yet won't put that in writing. It is either the ultimate in double speak or stupid.
Or is it?
By the time the HDV has rebuilt the first new block ready for occupation by tenants decamped to other places, I think they are counting on the law having changed to means test tenants. So Councillor Kober will look like the most amazing socialist ever when she announces that perhaps as many as 500 families that were on the waiting list are to be given tenancies in the new developments. How will they be able to do this? I suspect that there won't be too many tears shed by Londoners when they put a ceiling on the income you can have whilst occupying a council flat. It's the next logical step in the war against social housing and our HDV toting councillors know it.
Am I bid a combined income of sixty thousand pounds to start with? £70K?
Look at this "flat" on Lordship Lane that is for rent. There are three more flats above it presumably for a similar rent. You could do this with your house (demolish and redevelop) and live in the bottom one with an income of £6K per month. That is what the HDV is all about.
You do have a right to one, but there is a queue of people. I don't know how far down the queue you might be but there is also a queue of people behind the Queen waiting to be head of state so don't feel too aggrieved.
Surely if it was possible to get a council house if you did not own you could just sell up and walk down to Green Lanes and put all your equity on Black knowing that if else fails, you'll get a council flat?
What if you a council tenant and you inherit a home that you let out?
Of course I don't really want to do that. I believe that social housing should be available for people who need it. Obviously I'd far rather not be subject to the 'free' market but there's not currently much of an alternative. I suppose my overall point was why should Bob Crow (or Robert Maxwell, who signed his lease in the 1950s when he was probably already pretty wealthy), who could easily afford to buy himself a £1million mansion, take up a council house when there are families waiting for 12 years for one? Council housing may have been for everyone 50 years ago, but that's no longer the environment we live in and I find it pretty galling that someone would put their own shaky principle before the welfare of others.
So do you suggest that if any working class person is lucky enough to get a well paid job that means they have to uproot themselves from their family home with all its memories, the friends and community around them, the neighbourhood they know? And what if the job doesn't last - Bob Crow was in an elected position so could lose that role at any time - would he get to move back in?
As others have pointed out, the whole idea of Council Housing is to keep people out of the clutches of greedy landlords. I suggest your anger would be better directed at private landlords and at the politicians who allow them to fleece people who need a roof over their heads and keep them in a permanent state of insecurity.
Rent controls and more Council Housing are the solution, not trying to kick out existing Council tenants as soon as they earn a bit more or one of their family leaves home.
Strangely the government have moved to allow Councils and HAs to offer housing at full market rent.
"What the Tories are saying at paragraph 4.35 on page 62 of the Housing White Paper and not wrapping up in any coded language is … council and housing association landlords can charge full private market rents in their properties if they offer tenancies of more than 12 months in new build properties.
This is the definitive end of any properties ever being built by councils and housing associations for social rent. It is the death of social housing as we know it as no council or housing association will ever build new properties for social rent."
So the paradox emerges of how can these properties be offered to people on lowest incomes?
My feeling is that they won't
Risk: that you may starve or at least need to feed your children from a foodbank.
Risk: that you may lose your job and become homeless.
Risk: that you may have no capital to retire on.
RISK: that a wee bit of your enormous surplus of money may disappear because you paid too much for a house. Oh please.
Liz is right, we've been duped into thinking that housing in London is something we have to earn just because rapacious developers and landlords have been able to game the system (12 month "leases") to raise rents 3% every year.
In 1996 (when I came to England) you would pay £1000pcm to rent a 2 bed flat in zone 2. An inflation busting rise of 3% a year would see that rent at £1860 and lo and behold, that's approximately right. My wages are still what they were in 1998 (less in real terms as "inflation") yet if I had bought property then I would be protected from this and not forced to move out. Council tenants have also been protected from this but the private renters amongst us are being fleeced to enrich people who own more accommodation than they need. Buy-t-let has enabled even more people to climb into this and insist that these renters pay off their mortgages for them.
And nobody will look at that and see that it's unfair. How far we have come eh?
"The change seemed to come in the 1980s when, quite subtly at first, being a council tenant was equated with not quite making it in the world and if you didn't own your own home the message was that you were somehow not trying hard enough." <- BINGO!!!
And the people that decried this at the time, who could see what was coming, were derided and shouted down.
The government tried to impose pay to stay last year - rates were household income of £30,000 outside London, £40,000 here. £40,000 wouldn't pay market rent or recent mortgage on a 2 bedroom house here, let alone any more than that, particularly for those with childcare costs of £15,000 or more (mine were about that at the highest more than 4 years ago, and I had relatively affordable childcare, so it's a rather conservative figure).
As already pointed out, council housing is not subsidised. I think most London council tenants pay more for their homes than many of us who were lucky enough to be able to buy before about 2000.
What I think this change if it had happened, or if it is introduced in future, is that many of those affected would feel they had little choice but to try and exercise their right to buy, meaning that those homes would go out of stock. There would have been little criticism of Bob Crow for doing so, moving to a better home and renting that newly owned property out as a private landlord, except from people like me, anyway! But that would have meant another permanent home lost to the private sector, and would have been taking advantage of his privileged position in a way that living in a council property until you/your family no longer need it, at which time it could go to someone else, is not. I don't know anything about his family's other circumstances, but since his shockingly sudden death in his early 50s, his family at least have their home.
Wow, £40K is definitely social cleansing. I'm sure that they could impose a limit of double that and still have some effect in London.
Incidentally, does anybody know exactly how much it does cost to rent a 3 bed flat from the council on the current tenancy arrangements? I understand that it's not subsidised but it certainly looks that way to private renters who are not only paying their landlord's interest but the capital as well. There is not a single other wheeze like it available in Britain (perhaps even the world).