Recommendation to sell off social rented homes oversimplifies the problem, says CIH
In response to a report published today by the Policy Exchange think tank, which encourages councils to sell their most expensive homes, CIH has argued that the analysis oversimplifies the problem of the lack of homes in England.The report, Ending Expensive Social Tenancies, suggests that by selling houses that are more expensive than the average property in the area, local authorities could raise the funds required to build more social housing. CIH contends that successful real world property management cannot be achieved by using such an inflexible approach. And that building new homes to replace those sold is a much more challenging and complicated process than Policy Exchange suggests.
Gavin Smart, Director of Policy and Practice at CIH, said: “Policy Exchange has rightly highlighted that social landlords must make the best possible use of their properties to deliver social objectives. However, the report oversimplifies the challenges landlords face in managing their homes. A mandatory system of property disposals does not allow space for the flexibility that housing practitioners need if they are to manage their housing stock effectively.”
“These proposals also risk blaming social tenants for the consequences of the last property bubble –Policy Exchange is suggesting that selling these houses and moving social tenants to areas of less expensive housing would open up the homeownership market – but we cannot blame social tenants for a housing market they did not create.”