SOCIAL HOUSING: British government launches report on tenant experiences, housing reforms

London – VIJAY SHAH

The UK Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has unveiled a report detailing the experiences of people living in social housing and the inequalities and stigma they face as social tenants, HEM News Agency exclusively reports.

Ministers with the MHCLG, formerly the Department for Communities and Local Government, launched through their social media outlets a document, the ‘Social Housing Green Paper‘, as part of an ambition to tackle the widespread stigma against families and individuals residing in council-owned and housing association-owned properties and estates. The paper also highlights the government’s intention to give support to ‘thriving communities’ based around social housing in the United Kingdom.

 

The green paper forms part of the governmental open consultation on a ‘new deal for social housing’, which may signal a change of direction for the country’s ruling Conservatives, who have been castigated by liberal sections of British society for enacting policies that have targeted the welfare state , an attack on the poor and deprived, according to critics of government policy.

In it, the MHCLG has proposed ‘fundamental reforms’ in the social housing sector in order to benefit users, give greater rights and voices to renters and to re-balance the relationship between tenants and landlords, as the national housing crisis forces more and more to rent from private landlords and associations.

The paper also proposes changes to the controversial ‘Right to Buy’ policy. Instituted by the late prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, in the 1980s, this policy allowed council tenants to buy their rented homes direct from the council, but has been criticised for causing a explosion in sometimes exploitative buy-to-lets and reductions in the numbers of available social housing. One change put forward is to give local government bodies greater powers to replace homes purchased by former tenants.

The paper was released today on the UK government’s official online portal, along with a promotional video which summed up the main points of the consultation document.

SOURCES:

HEM Businesses, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-businesses

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Govt, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/mhclg

“Open consultation A new deal for social housing” – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government/GOV.UK (14 August 2018) https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/a-new-deal-for-social-housing

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