Mr Duncan Smith, the MP for Lord Tebbit’s former parliamentary seat of Chingford, disclosed that ministers were drawing up plans to encourage jobless people living in council houses to move out of unemployment black spots to homes in other areas, perhaps hundreds of miles away.
The former Conservative Party leader said millions of people were “trapped in estates where there is no work” and could not move because they would lose their accommodation.
The proposed scheme would allow them to go to the top of the housing list in another area rather than lose their right to a home if they moved.
Quite how well it will work is another thing, but the underlying thought is eminently sensible.
There\’s any amount of research which shows that having too high a level of home ownership produces a higher unemployment rate. For it means that the labour force is less mobile: it takes time and effort to sell onoe house and buy another,. Renting is much more flexible.
However, the response to such research is often: therefore we must have more social housing. But social housing is even less flexible than home ownership. It\’s near impossible to get high up the lists in an area when or if you move there anew.
So, making access to the social housing list portable ought to reduce that unemployment level.