Tory/Lib Dem Coalition

A reasonable accommodation?

I knew there must be some reason why I actually thought one of the Coalition’s policies sounded quite sensible. It is in fact an evil socialist plot. Housing Minister Grant Shapps has suggested that one way to ease the housing shortage might be to enable older homeowners to downsize into rented accommodation while letting out their houses.

I am sure there are many people who find their house rather big – or would like to move from the country to a village with pubs and shops within walking distance – but don’t want to sell in a depressed housing market, or perhaps find the idea of selling the family home a wrench.  Also – a full scale house move is a big upheaval whereas this scheme, I assume, allows people to leave furniture etc in situ.

Clearly this is a rather sensitive issue – a poll in the Telegraph revealed opposition from most readers, and perhaps this is partly down to people like George Monbiot who seems to see elderly empty nesters as the enemy.  But to me, this scheme, like the related Property Guardians initiative, seems sensible, and not, unless any coercion is involved, sinister.