The neglect of social housing – now words but little action

Owl says: lots of sweet words, no action, no more [better] social housing … a problem but no solution.

“The Grenfell Tower fire showed that those in power had dehumanised tenants as “problems that needed to be managed”, the communities secretary said today as he announced an extensive review of social housing.

Sajid Javid said the way in which council tenants are housed in Britain needed a “top-to-bottom” rethink in the wake of the tragedy. Mr Javid said the government would be publishing a green paper in the coming months.

He pledged to make the work the most substantial report of its kind for a generation, looking at the quality and safety of social housing but also at ways to reinvent the sector and make it once again the “gold standard for accommodation”.

Referring directly to Grenfell, Mr Javid said that he believed the fire was the consequence of longstanding neglect.

“It is clear that in the months and the years before the fire, the residents of Grenfell Tower were not listened to,” he said.

“That too many people in positions of power saw tenants less as people with families and more as problems that needed to be managed.

“In one of the richest, most privileged corners of the UK, the world, even, would a fire like this have happened in a privately owned block of luxury flats?

“If you believe that the answer is no, even if you think it was simply less likely, then it’s clear that we need a fundamental rethink of social housing in this country.” …

[followed by more weasel words and rhubarb in the same vein]

Source: Times, paywall

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