Is it really beyond the wit of the coalition to bring back fair rent reviews?
The slavish adherance to free market principles has led to a lot of landlords getting very rich whilst their tenants live in substandard housing for which the benefits system is paying through the nose!
Don't cut housing benefits by a tenner a month, cut rents by a tenner a month instead. And inspect all properties upon which rent is paid and not only set a fair rent for each but make the landlords bring them up to code.
This will create jobs ( because someone has to do the inspecting) and the costs will be offset by the savings in housing benefit which will now be paid on a fair rent basis.
Meanwhile get the economy moving by taking the money which we give to A4E and Serco for " welfare to work" schemes and putting it directly into contracts for construction and maintenance firms. Employ an army of builders, electricians, painters and decorators and plumbers and get the housing stock up to a decent standard. If a private landlord won't pay then invoke compulsory purchase orders... the legislation is already there and social housing firms could take over such properties.
Oh and build more homes! A variety of social housing but with emphasis on decent, affordable shared accomodation for young people and good quality sheltered accomodation for the elderly as this will reduce overcrowding and free up larger homes for families.
It isn't rocket science and will save a fortune in the long run on support services.
I could not agree more!
I would also add in the further taxation of second homes which take so many houses away from those who need them. Or go even further and use compulsory purchase orders to bring them under council control.
Homes are not just 'property', they should not be a commodity. They are homes, plain and simple. Places for people to live, to raise their families, to spend their lives in. Not just bricks and mortar to make money from those who can't afford them.