If you are an avid reader of the Daily Telegraph or Times you will be aware that there is a new round of speculation that some of our politicians are interested in extending the Right to Buy to housing associations... If there is a serious proposal to legislate again, it will fail again. And here's why.
In last week's autumn statement, Chancellor George Osborne was able to showboat the supposed successes of his austerity-driven financial agenda and renew his increasingly unlikely commitment towards balancing Britain's topsy-turvy budget. Yet while he's busy fritting away government assets and liabilities at break-neck speed, Mr Osborne appears keen to ignore a major housing crisis looming just over the horizon. It won't be pretty.
We can't afford to be caught unaware like this again. There is too much at stake: the country is in a housing crisis and needs housing associations to build homes, while millions of people around the country depend on them for shelter. These businesses need to be strong and must be able to weather even the harshest of storms.
With an increasing demand for properties, combined with an acute shortage of social housing, the idea of taxing council tenants who maintain a spare room seems reasonable, but a closer investigation into the matter reveals that this taxation may be affecting societies most vulnerable whilst only adding to a worsening housing situation.
We desperately need housing to be a national priority to deliver a huge increase in new homes. Our continued failure to tackle this problem head on hits millions of families hard, denies people the opportunity to buy their own home, traps increasing numbers of working people in benefit dependency at huge cost to the public purse and acts as a real brake on economic growth.