Theresa May dishes the dirt on Tory attitudes towards social housing
Apparently, many politicians 'look down on social housing'.
In the latest bid to show that the Conservatives are on top of the housing crisis, Theresa May has announced £2bn to build new homes in England.
The headline figure sounds like a big deal and it has been welcomed by housing associations. But the cash covers the period to 2028, it won’t be available until 2022 and there have even been suggestions that it is a “massive drop” from current spending levels.
More revealing about Tory attitudes towards social housing was the soundbitey section in May’s speech to the National Housing Federation summit on Wednesday morning.
She said: “For many people, a certain stigma still clings to social housing. Some residents feel marginalised and overlooked, and are ashamed to share the fact that their home belongs to a housing association or local authority.
“And on the outside, many people in society – including too many politicians – continue to look down on social housing and, by extension, the people who call it their home….”
And she went on to stress: “Our friends and neighbours who live in social housing are not second-rate citizens.”
While The Telegraph dubbed the speech a “break from Thatcher’s philosophy”, on the Today programme this morning James Brokenshire was asked the question on many politicians' lips: who his boss was referring to when she talked about politicians who look down on people living in social housing?
“I think it’s more a sort of a greater public perception, sadly,” the housing secretary replied, vaguely.
Asked if there were Conservative politicians who took that view, Brokenshire didn’t exactly say no. Rather he claimed that May was referring to a “general stigma” among tenants.
On Twitter, Labour’s Andy Slaughter was more direct….