Friday, 11 January 2013

Ham&High editor: large families in council housing should've "died out" with "the invention of the Pill"

Not for the first time, the Editor of the Ham&High has caused controversy with his right-wing views. 

This week's Ham&High contains an editorial broadly attacking Camden Labour's (well, my) record on value for money.  

Fair comment perhaps (although point-by-point wrong).

But what stands out, though, is his language about "large families" - people in over-crowded housing wanting to move into a bigger flat.  Camden, like many other councils, introduced an incentive scheme in October to encourage people to downsize.  

The policy is not the first of its kind: it was piloted first in Tory Westminster some time ago and is operated in most, if not all, local authorities and housing associations. 

Westminster offer up to £30,000 for council tenants to move and started the scheme nearly 4 years ago - Camden is actually late here, not a groundbreaker.

That doesn't matter for Geoff:
"with all the emphasis on saving money, I wonder what role he [me, Cabinet member for Finance] played in dreaming up the idea that council tenants should be offered thousands of pounts (upto £25,000 in fact) to move out of properties which have become too big for them.  This is an attempt to find more suitable accommodation for nearly 800 families who need a home with five or more bedrooms (I thought that kind of social housing problem had died out with the invention of the pill)."

Before you say:  "Imagine that - a Labour council helping skivers, just popping out kids, wanting flats...someone needs to do something about that...!" let's not let the facts get in the way:

- More than 5,000 households in Camden are living in overcrowded conditions and 798 are waiting for a home with five bedrooms or more.

- Last year, just one five-bedroom home became available for letting in the borough.

- Overcrowding is the cause of poor educational attainment, poor health and family breakdown.

- By easing overcrowding the taxpayer saves substantial amounts of money on bills for temporary accommodation in the private rented sector. 

See the Full e-edition Editorial here (you don't have to 'sign  up').

Presumably for some Geoff is a "freethinker", others will say it's ugly attack on on families - and children - who don't deserve his prejudiced views.

1 comment:

  1. Due to cultural reason, which has co-relation with security and safety, families would like to leave together under one roof. There are advantages of this life style, i.e.,older people receive constant support from immediate family members that in tern reduce social care expenditure. However, housing infrastructure, ever increasing personal needs,demnads of work place etc pushing younger generation away from their families. In this situation if the Local Authorities discover new way of solution that was practiced before in other boroughs then it should be appreciated instead of criticism.