council housing

Kiran Stacey

Council and privately owned housesThe Commons is dead at the moment: with little legislation to debate and no mandatory votes left, many MPs have drifted away to their constituencies (or further afield) for Christmas. But the Lords has plenty to do, and peers are making their presence felt.

Last week, ministers were given a bloody nose when peers voted to nullify plans to cut housing benefit by up to 25 per cent for people who live in council houses with spare rooms. The department for work and pensions says the policy is designed to free up housing stock. A spokesman says:

It’s not fair that people to continue to live in homes that are too large for their needs when in England alone there are around five million people on the social housing waiting list and over a quarter of a million tenants are living in overcrowded conditions.

 

Jim Pickard

The government figures on Right to Buy make fascinating reading. The number of deals has fallen to just 3,860 last year – a mere twentieth of the 84,100 figure only seven years ago. I’ve repeated the stats below.

It suggests that the issue may be a sideshow to the real priorities around social housing that the government needs to address in the coming months. The main one being that with the DCLG (communities department) facing cuts of around 30 per cent to its budget, social housing will inevitably be hit very hard.