Anne Perkins | Opinion | The Guardian
In future, new tenants will face a review of their circumstances at least every five years. Any change in circumstance might mean a move. If they’re lucky, it would be to alternative council accommodation. More likely, though, would be a move into the private sector, with a private landlord, either in a place where they don’t want to live or at a rent they can’t afford.
Farewell to any sense of permanence or community, long-term engagement or planning for the future. Why commit, when you don’t know where you’ll be in five years’ time? This feels like the final victory of property over communal ownership.
You can see the way the idea has developed. It depends on regarding social housing purely as a safety net, a last resort for people who have failed to show enough character to amass the wealth to buy their own home, an escape for those unlucky few who, through personal catastrophe or sheer misfortune, find themselves homeless.
In that light, this latest move is simply a way of making sure councils manage their housing stock efficiently, keeping home size and location aligned with tenants’ needs and the needs of others on the waiting list. In hard times, and with resources scarce, that makes a sort of sense. ... Home ownership has been the default preference of government policy for a generation. Unfortunately, home ownership is often in direct conflict with house building, since homeowners are often resistant to new homes being built in their neighbourhood; and, once someone owns their own home, they have an interest in the price going up. The shortage of supply means that a joint income of £60,000 is unlikely to get you a home anywhere in southern England.