Most people who’ve looked at the workings of our housing associations suspect that their raison d’être is to bring into Wales the kind of English people who cannot afford to buy a home; yet these observers have been discouraged from criticising this social engineering for fear of being branded ‘racist’, and perhaps getting the kind of verbal kicking that La Kinnock gave Ieuan Wyn Jones a few years ago on Question Time.
The official reasoning for the practice is frighteningly simple. While middle class English people moving in to Wales is all well and good these often keep themselves to themselves, with some even going native. What’s needed is a less tolerant element, less likely to put up with any “Welsh nonsense”, especially if they are concentrated in estates in our rural towns. The “No Surrender!” sort that will take over the local pubs and spout their simplistic right-wing views. (You doubt me? Go to Welshpool or Denbigh, Newtown or Cardigan when the England soccer team is playing, see them walking from pub to pub, bevvied up, shouting, draped in England flags.)
This explains how and why housing assocations outside of our major cities operate. It is blatant social engineering with a medium-term objective of demographic change leading to the longer term objective of weakening Welsh identity to the point where any threat of seccession is removed. Our housing associations (even those that pride themselves on conducting their business in Welsh!) have been all too ready to comply with this ethnocidal policy. But the tide is turning.
The policy has become too blatant, it’s no longer just the politically aware who can see what’s happening. When a decent, hard-working Welsh person is refused accommodation by the ‘local’ housing association, but told that she’d have more points if she was on heroin . . . well, you just know this is not right; a gut feeling reinforced when you then see drug addicts brought in from England.
Small wonder then that today’s Western Mail carried a story telling us that most people in our rural areas can not afford to buy a home. Of course we already knew this, but according to Shane Perkins, chief executive of Mid Wales Housing, the answer is for the Assembly to give housing associations more money to build many more properties. What! Given the record of Welsh housing associations, this would be a catastrophic mistake, even by the standards of our Notional Assembly. (And of course, Mid Wales Housing has just bid for the £11m Vyrnwy Estate; so perhaps Perkins really wants the money for more grouse moor ventures.)
But what was really significant about Perkins’ pitch was his suggestion that the points system be abandoned. He was reported as saying, “We are suggesting that once we establish the applicant has a housing need, thereafter the property is allocated to local people who are in employment and/or are contributing to their communities through volunteering.” A very important change, apparently . . . which could be insincere, or else has not been thought through. To explain . . .
If Welsh housing assocations stop housing riff-raff from over the border, instead concentrating on meeting indigenous need, then they won’t need to build so many properties. Ergo they will not need more money from the Assembly. Or else this is empty and misleading rhetoric, and while making a pretence of abandoning the discredited points system everything carries on as before. Which would explain the call for more geld.
CONCLUSION: Our housing associations are too tarnished by past behaviour to be trusted in future under the same managements, rules, and organisational structures. The Assembly must introduce legislation making strong and long-standing local connections the sole criterion for the allocation of social housing. Housing association properties surplus to demand will be sold to first-time buyers meeting the tenancy criterion. The money saved and generated will go back to the Assembly to be reallocated elsewhere.
That done, the Assembly can turn its attention to the private sector; to ‘affordable housing’ that is anything but affordable to too many Welsh; to private landlords, especially those responsible for multi-occupancy slums in our former resorts; and to the evil system of local plans that force our local authorities to allow house-building on a scale that can only be understood by recognising the same anti-Welsh motives that have for too long determined the workings of our housing associations.