RTB … Orr you can’t polish a turd!

However much the National Housing Federation may want to roll their voluntary Right to Buy deal that they proposed to government in glitter you simply cannot polish this turd.

The all party Public Accounts Committee have scrutinised this voluntary deal and its Chair the Labour MP Meg Hillier says :

“The approach to paying for this policy seems to be entirely speculative.  On the basis of evidence heard by this committee, there are no costings or workings out. We are not talking about ‘a back of an envelope’ calculation – there is no envelope at all.”

This is not just a turd, this is the large floating turd at the bottom of the toilet bowl that refuses to be flushed

The Right to Buy extension (RTBe) to housing associations was government policy and a manifesto commitment they never thought they would have to implement as the Conservatives have openly admitted they never expected to win an outright majority at the May 2015 general election.

This RTBe policy was announced less than 24 hours after the National Housing Federation held a rally in central London and its triumphal chief executive David Orr said housing is on the agenda and government were supportive of social housing.  This policy was the housing associations worst case fear and became reality less than one day after this £750,000 triumphal deluded jolly.

To then post general election see David Orr propose this highly secretive and inchoate voluntary deal to government and give the vast majority of housing associations it had not consulted just 6 days to agree to this turd simply beggars belief.

To now have this turd exposed for what it is and reveal that David Orr hoodwinked the landlords of 2,452,000 housing association properties in England with this turd by his deluded vanity and rank incompetence and to tell this – and all future governments – that housing associations are feckless organisations that wouldn’t say boo to any government goose is megalomania writ large on his part.

Time somebody found an envelope and put the P45 of David Orr in it because his voluntary deal is a bigger turd than the government’s policy intent.

David Orr has not just sold 1500 or so housing associations down the river, he has sold the entire social housing model that accommodates 11.6 million men women and children who live in the 5.04 million UK social housing properties.  His deal and complicity with the policy intent, the putting of a bigger turd onto the already huge turd, said that all social landlords will never fight for the social ethos behind the social housing model created in the Welfare State that provides homes and not just merely rented bricks and mortar to 1 in 6 of the UK population.

David Orr played the housing associations hand, the hand of the PRIVATE Registered Providers to give them their correct name, the wannabee private landlords who still want the benefits and market protection of being called ‘social’ while not even paying lip service to what the term social means.

David Orr has sunk the dagger so deep into the social housing model with the voluntary deal that it is very doubtful it can survive.

Cue the very vocal acolytes of the megalomaniac David Orr saying (a) this is a government policy not our doing and especially (b) I and others have no commercial reality and live in a nostalgic dream world of social housing’s post-war consensus.

They are also turds and turds of Bos Taurus (without the balls)

Those typical responses do not even hold glitter.  David Orr’s turd is a bigger one than the government’s original policy intent as explained and as to commercial reality, then by all means bugger off and see how you compete in the marketplace as its not only the housebuilders who will blow you out of the water its the hedge fund managers who will too.  Have takeover after takeover and create the 200,000 strong property giants you want to become (and your current CEO’s get the personal pay off they seek and put before any semblance of good business sense or even social mission) and see how quickly you fail.

The social housing nostalgia argument?  The SHOUT report and remember it was written by a self professed very laissez-faire right wing economist reveals starkly that the economic case is that the social housing model is the best case scenario. The arguments for much more social housing is not naive nostalgia it is founded and based upon very strong economic bases that accord with a right-wing economic view as well as a Keynesian one.

The schism the voluntary deal created gets wider by the day and the vast majority of housing professionals know and privately admit this turd is a turd and not just because the vast majority of them believe in the ethos of the social housing model, but because it is a turd when viewed from every dimension.

In summary it is time to flush the turd and repeatedly flush and to find a way that the NHF or indeed any new representative body for social landlords that replaces it can recover from the current strategy that stinks to high heaven – quite apt for a large turd.



7 thoughts on “RTB … Orr you can’t polish a turd!

  1. Hi Joe,

    Try and keep this long story short but you need the background story to understand where I’m at now. Back in 2013 I appealed the bedroom tax decision on the grounds of room size and usage as outlined on your blog. My local authority (city of York Council) amazingly sent round to Housing departments workers to verify the measurements I’d given them of the room. While they were doing this they rubbished the idea that the room was not big enough to be bedroom citing the measurements used in the bedroom tax legislation. I cited that as you discussed on your blog that there was a legal that measurements that were far bigger and that this room wasn’t as large is that. They are suave about this I told them the Internet and they use this to dismiss it. I don’t remember whether they discuss room usage at all but they left giving the impression that I was get very far with this. I followed up with city of York Council a week later and the case not been sent on to HMRC neither did it appear it was going to any time soon. With the deadline for the appeal looming I decided to contact the Department of HMRC that you said should be the Department the case was sent to. This department replied to my email stating I contacted the wrong department and pointing me in the direction of another department. This department then told me I was mistaken and pointed me the back in the direction I came to another department again. At this point I gave up I was struggling with an illness I still suffer with to this day and offer multiple disabilities and learning difficulties. I simply felt I could not keep up the fight when I seemed to be getting nowhere.

    In 2015 I won a PIP appeal and that combined with my currently meagre budget a new-found determination has bought me to the decision that I should appeal again. However, I do not want be left in the same situation of being rebuffed and pushed around between legal departments getting nowhere. Do you have any advice on how I can cut through the crap I to get my appeal heard? I will be appealing on the same grounds that I may focus on room usage as according to your blog this seems to have had some success.

    Thank you in advance. Anything you can offer is a help to me.


    1. Hi, Liam. So, they did not refer your original appeal to a Tribunal?? The should have done. You have the right to put in a new appeal, every year. So, that is what you should do now.. There are appeal groups on Facebook, that can ‘walk you’ through this and they have template letters you can send. Judges in Tribunals, must make decisions, based on the NELSON. Criteria.. You can Google it).. Which, gives you what sort of furniture, you should be able to fit in the room…. You can also, claim a DHP, through your council. At, the same time.. Hope that helps

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