The government is looking for ways to reduce – or even eliminate – the £7 million deficit on public sector housing.
I think it would be reasonable to introduce periodic means-testing to ensure tenants who are on higher incomes pay a more realistic rent, but it would be wrong to think about raising the rents across the board by inflation plus 16 per cent every year.
This would not take into account the tenants’ ability to pay,
It should be remembered that public sector housing is social housing – one of the ‘frontline services’ like social services, social security and education that the government vowed to protect.
It will inevitably cost the taxpayer something to provide these services, but tenants should not be made to feel that they are a burden. If they fulfill the eligibility criteria they are entitled to good quality affordable housing.