Council Housing and Unemployment

Early this morning, I read a BBC News article about the new Housing Minister, Caroline Flint MP.  The Headline of that item and the article in the Guardian are both very emotive indeed.  In fairness, I did not read any quote from Ms Flint to state that Council tenants would be evicted for being unemployed.  My first thought was that such a move would not be enforceable and I see that Grant Shapps MP has made that remark in the updated version of the BBC article.

The most disturbing part of the story for me was the following:

“Nearly three quarters of social tenants under 25 are unemployed.”

If these tenants are indeed unemployed (i.e. not in training either) then this is very serious and worrying.

When I was growing up, I recall all of the dads being in work.  The street was built in the early 70s and all houses were pretty much occupied by families so it is interesting to look back on what was a good model for me personally.

The Hills Report did indeed raise a number of important issues and it was discussed at the Tenants and Leaseholders Joint Consultative Committee back in May 2007.  Obviously the minutes do not capture everything that was said but I do recall it being a very interesting discussion.

As for Caroline Flint, I think that she is a very interesting appointment.  She is very impressive in the House of Commons Chamber and I was surprised that the Prime Minister did not promote her further during his first reshuffle.  Of course, she faces Grant Shapps at the Despatch Box so it will be fascinating to watch two high calibre people go head to head.  Both have a strong interest in Housing and I know that the latter will throw some new and innovative ideas into the pot.

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