Potential council house tenants to be assessed on commitment to improve employability

Council houses could be allocated on the basis of applicants’ commitment to make themselves more employable, the new housing minister Caroline Flint has hinted.

Flint, who was employment minister until the recent Cabinet reshuffle, said yesterday that high levels of unemployment on some estates needed to be tackled with a range of measures.

More than half of working-age people living in social housing are unemployed, twice the national average, and the government is determined to reduce this number.

Flint said: “If you are in a family, an estate or a neighbourhood where nobody works, that impacts on your own aspiration.

“The question we should ask of any new tenant is what commitment they will make to improve their skills, find work and take the support that is available.”

Last week the government told Personnel Today it was open to new ideas on tackling deep-seated unemployment as part of its welfare reforms.

Private sector welfare-to-work firm A4e wants to work with entire families on benefits to end the jobless culture that exists in some households.

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