SURELY common logic would tell Alan Kebbell (In My View February 25) that if local councils were able to sell off their housing stock at prices below the current market price and remain fully funded to purchase new abodes for future applicants (assuming, as he says, central government didn’t steal any) then there would be no housing queue and we would all be eligible for cheap, council-built houses whether a tenant or not. In other words the councils would be in a position to solve the housing crisis overnight.
He should already be aware that councils are given a budget by central government that they are expected to spend, much of which goes in housing benefit and refurbishment of council homes.
My records may be a little out of date but at the last count 57 per cent of council tenants in Southampton were claiming some kind of benefit so if the other 43 per cent were keeping the housing stock fully funded through HRA they should certainly all take a bow for their supreme effort.
I am fully aware that Alan Kebbell is tied up with his tenants’ association and is within his rights to defend paying tenants but unfortunately the figures speak for themselves and I say he is wrong in implying that private taxes don’t subsidise future council house building and maintenance, with of course the help of the fully paid up rents and council taxes (the 43 per cent).
My family and I moved out of council accommodation in 1981 and the day we left a neighbour told us he was purchasing his house (a three bedroom council house). I can assure readers that the house I was purchasing at the time (a three bed private house) was costing me in excess of twice the amount he quoted.
I won’t have it said that I’m wrong in stating that it is taxpayers’ cash that keeps council housing stock afloat when one has only to read an Echo article of the millions of pounds that are to be spent on refurbishing council stock – after all what other cash is available in the country for such things?
L A O’BEE, Lordswood.