A report has just been published which is being described as 'Radical', relating to council rents, the sale of council housing and the transfer of tenancy!
Essentially, it's calling for a massive hike in rents, an end to the possibility of council tenants buying their homes and stopping adult sons and daughters inheriting the tenancy! This is with a view to increasing funds available to provide low cost quality social housing!
Let me start -
1 Rents are related to wages as it is, what are people on low wages to do if their rents are sent through the roof?
Although, I suggest that childrens' allowance be factored in income calculations!
2 Stopping selling off council houses, well the last scheme which AFAIK was done under the auspices of the lovely minister Kelly was a complete disaster with virtually no take up.
What appeared to be happening under it was along with having to pay water charges as a precondition, the house prices in some areas were being set at the levels of nearby private houses, so even with the discounts available, it pitched them at totally unrealistic and laughable levels.
3. Preventing the transfer of tenancy to sons and daughters living in the house, well that will cause immense disruption to peoples' lives and leave them homeless possibly! Indeed high rents in relative terms being charged to council tenants may be as a consequence of the wages being paid to those sons and daughters.
4 Given the track record of public bodies wasting money, what makes anybody realistically believe that money gained from massively hiked rents will go in to more public housing?
5 Sleemheen employers, particularly in the BMW Region, where they are the norm, are in part enabled to ride the holes of their employees red raw because their Irish staff in council housing have low housing costs!
Perhaps, councils should be addressing anti social behaviour issues in areas where they are landlords and maintaining council properties!
Also wages and salaries and perks and pensions for their pen pusher staff need to be at realistic levels! Essentially the pensions paid to these 'public servants' are often beyond what should be the going rate for actually doing the job in the first place!
Now finally as with any report, it's worth noting who has compiled it! The Indo tells us it's no right wing think tank, no!
The 2 main people behind it are -
Professor Michelle Norris, a UCD academic and chairperson of the housing finance agency - a public servant on a large salary and with the prospect of a huge pension.
Aideen Hughes, a former Labour Party Senator, by Taoiseach's Nomination after failing to be elected through the panel system in 2011 and failing to be re-elected in 2016. She is now chairperson of Treshold!
BTW how are The lovely Labour Party perceived these days in working class areas?