Evicting tenants for earning too much money

The ConDemned coalition have come up with yet another crack-pot idea, the detail of which is surfacing.

Too rich to live here

Too rich to live here

This one is to evict tenants who are doing well.

I’ll state up front, the idea that well-off people are living in subsidised Social Housing, is an anathema, but the ConDemned have approached the issue from the most obscure angle possible and come up with a concept that is damaging in the long term and totally contradicts their mantra of encouraging financial success.

The idea that tenants become too wealthy to live in a particular area, will lead to ghettos in which the only inhabitants are the poor. This is an appalling state of affairs. Society is made up of a mix of income groups and to suggest that Social Housing Estates should only contain the poorest members of Society is an absolute disgrace. This encourages poor service provision, poor schooling opportunities and continued and increasing social deprivation.

The idea that if you earn too much money, you have to move makes absolutely no sense at all. It means that the poor only meet the poor, that estates of poverty have no better-off neighbours who may encourage others to aspire to better things and creates a brooding sense of helplessness.

This hardly meets the concept of improving social cohesion.

On a similar vein, the idea that if a family income raises to an arbitary limit that the family is forcibly evicted does nothing to encourage people to improve their financial position. Social Housing rents are subsidised (I am not referring to Housing Benefit, which is a separate issue) and the disparity between Social Housing rents and Private Sector rents are well documented. The idea that a family who manage to secure a £3000 a year (pre tax) improvement in salary will then have to pay an additional £3600 (post tax) in rent makes absolutely no sense at all. This policy is a disincentive to work and financial betterment.

I don’t see the drive to earn ever higher sums of money as being the be all and end all of life, but as this is the dogma of the ConDemned how can this block on incentive fit within their dogma.

There are a myriad of other Social issues with this form of apartheid will cause including: Schooling continuity; Housing security; Social cohesion; Fairness and Simple relationship building, all of which will be adversely affected.

Were the ConDemned actually interested in doing anything other than stamping on the vulnerable, poor families, poor elderly and disabled, they would have approached this from a different angle.

Taking as a concept that it is the subsidy that is the major issue with Social Housing for life, there is absolutely no reason that instead of forcing people to move out, that Housing Associations and Local Authorities could not be permitted to increase rents for tenants dependent on income. This could be graduated to not discourage people to earn more and be capped at mid-market rents for the area. This has many advantages over eviction, as outlined above on the disadvantages of the proposal and simultaneously enables Housing Associations and Local Authorities to secure a fair market rent for properties where that is feasible.

Were the process thought through in more detail tenants of Social Housing could be freed from claiming Housing Benefit, as rent charged by the Association or Authority would be set on income. The Association or Authority could then make a claim for rental to cover the subsidised rents for tenants en-mass, rather than DWP employing a myriad of staff to deal with individual claimants.

The rabid right wing red-tops would be in favour as it would be in the interests of Housing Associations and Authorities to ensure that tenants declared all their income, as if the tenant had extra income, they (the landlord) would be able to charge a higher rent.

There are undoubtedly other ways to tackle the problem, but the idea that if you earn too much money you will be evicted is an anathema.

I have recently read that NASA are considering one way flights to Mars, perhaps the ConDemned are in cahoots with NASA and will shortly be announcing mass colonisation of Mars by the vulnerable groups in the UK.

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