Sunday, May 15, 2011
Council housing fraud
Whether it is high personal debt, resentment against immigrants, or children with nowhere quiet to do their homework, many of Britain's social ills can be traced back to a shortage of housing. Which is why almost nothing raises passions so much as the allocation of council housing. In many cities, as well as in some rural areas, securing a council tenancy is little short of a long-term win on the lottery. You pay a rent which, in areas of high-priced housing, is far below what you would have to pay for equivalent accommodation in the private sector. Your repairs and maintenance are looked after and, however your personal fortunes develop, you have tenure for life. The huge public-private rent disparity in many areas makes for a profoundly distorted market infested with fraud.