Three-bedroom homes are being condemned to demolition by housing associations because the coalition’s bedroom tax has made them too expensive for tenants to live in, the Observer can reveal.
Despite a national property shortage, providers of affordable homes are unable to find people who can meet the cost of living in a home with an extra bedroom and are, in some cases, planning demolitions. In Liverpool, one housing provider, Magenta Living, has admitted that “with changes to welfare benefits there is very little prospect of letting upper three-bedroom maisonettes in the current climate”.
In a letter to Alison McGovern, the Labour MP for Wirral South, Magenta says one such block of flats will be “emptied with a view to subsequent demolition” because of the inability to let them out, sell them or keep up with the costs of keeping them unlived in.
Coast and Country Housing, a housing association in north-east England that has 10,190 homes, has also reported a huge increase in the number of empty homes and announced that demolitions are now feasible.
If we’re going to knock down houses simply because no one wants to live in them then it’s really very difficult to say that we’ve got a shortage of housing, isn’t it?
And if you want to claim instead that it’s all about people not being able to afford such housing then just stop and think for a moment. Haven’t these people ever heard of lowering the rent for fuck’s sake?