SOCIAL housing exists to help the poor.
Local authorities and housing associations provide housing for those who cannot afford to buy, or who are vulnerable. Accordingly, central government spends more than £600m-a-year on social housing in Yorkshire alone.
Yet this social housing is still so expensive that 77 per cent of all tenants need to claim housing benefit in order to live in it. This accounts for another £700m of Government funding each year for tenants in Yorkshire.
Why, we might ask, does the Government, or rather the taxpayer, have to pay for this housing twice once to build it and then again to pay the rent?
This crazy situation has come about not because social-housing tenants are lazy, or because they are cheating the system, but because of the actions of the Government.
Social-housing landlords cannot charge the rents they want but have to set them according to a national system controlled by central government.
Landlords cannot make their own decisions about maintaining their own dwellings, but again have to meet the Government's Decent Homes Standard. The Government tells social-housing landlords what income they are going to have and what they have to spend it on.
All this is maintained by