I’m afraid that this is beyond parody, but couldn’t go unremarked. Anyway, it is a quiet time for judgments.
Today the National Housing Federation took the view that housing provision in the UK, or England at least, is basically demented, with millions to be locked out of property ownership, but the resulting demand for private rental properties (given the lack of social housing) is putting private rent levels up to unaffordable levels.
The Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, took to the broadcast media to announce how his policies would improve things – according to his twitter feed (@grantshapps), there were some 6 or 7 recorded or live appearances.
And what was the solution Mr Shapps wanted to highlight?
According to Mr Shapps, this is an example of how ‘unconventional housing’ can solve the housing crisis. He announced that houseboats would attract the ‘new homes bonus’ (double the council tax for 6 years for the council).
Whilst they will never overtake bricks and mortar in putting a roof over the heads of families, innovative new ways of housing families – such as residential moorings – play an important role in allowing people to live near to their place of work, children’s school, or family, and where perhaps they would not be able to afford to otherwise, […]
Around 15,000 people live on our waterways and many more would like to do so. The government’s commitment to Localism could be an opportunity for living on boats to be given a new lease of life. […]
Where houseboats pay council tax, communities will be eligible for the new homes bonus, so the potential economic benefits are huge. […]
Landlords, councils and communities all have a clear incentive to get more mooring sites in their areas and not become landlocked in their quest to meet local housing needs.
I have no words. Satire is dead, having been overtaken by reality. This is an episode of ‘The Thick of It‘ and Armando Iannucci may as well sign on for Jobseekers.