“ Now for the science bit “ -There are 4.9 million households living in social housing , 2.7 million in Council housing and 2.2 million in housing association properties . One question you will not hear the Labour Party asking is just how many of those are lawfully occupied, and how many are sub let .
Subletting a property can be a lovely source of income . Rents can be charged weekly up to £400 when the out going is as little as £60-£70 per week. It is entirely possible that the same person or family has other tenancies in neighbouring boroughs as such information is never exchanged . Some years ago one smart operator was discovered to have as many as 28. Councils never do anything about it as ,so long as they collect the rent ,meet their targets and avoid penalties .
Anecdotally the practice is at least endemic , oh yeah , prove it you say , you fiends, and I would love to, but solid evidence is suspiciously scarce.
Let me explain;back In Islington , my political almer mater , the piteous needs of a waiting list of 13000 was endlessly reiterated by earnest bespectacled socialists trying not be too loony. So why were’t the caring souls rushing about with pitch forks turfing out unlawful tenants then.? Pssst building , or freeing , more housing does not reduce the waiting list and everyone knows it , you simply attract more applicants to the area.Indeed , Coucils like a large socia l housing role which makes them important, and hate taking on this constituency . Sure enough, in Islington, they were due for a further 13000 units in what was already a basket case Borough and the most crowded in Britain. This is vastly more satisfactory than starting a bureaucratic nigthmare a political war , and using the stock properly .
Official estimates on sublets vary from 3% to 10% but no proper counting has been done and my instinct says that as a family becomes wealthier they are not likely to hand their house back .I would guess 30% on the basis of those I met and knew . Even the governments estimates would give you 490,000 units and the grand total of 69 have been recovered.
Perhaps the Government don`t know . Events surrounding Caroline Flint`s suggestion that Coucil House dwellers might like to get a job suggests to me that they know perfectly well but dare not delve. She said .."she was suprised that more than half of those of working age in social acccomodation were without paid work"
Thats twice the national average and nearly 3/4 of that group under 25 are unemployed . She was not really suprised of course , and in any case was howled down by the left. . Any reform of the Coucil house citadels brings New Labour into direct conflict with Old where they have been dug in for generations. Picking fights its a delicate business and this poisonous turf war allows scandalous waste to go on unreformed.