The government is to launch a "house swap" programme, reminiscent of Norman Tebbit's call for the jobless to "get on your bike", in an attempt to encourage people to move around the country to find work.
The controversial plan to tackle the unemployment crisis means people living in social housing will be helped to uproot their families in order to chase jobs. Details of the scheme are yet to be finalised, but it is understood the plan would involve a nationwide database of house swaps and the removal of any barriers to people in social housingmoving between regions.This sounds like a good idea, but there's only one problem: who is going to volunteer to move out of London to say, Manchester? You're an elderly couple, why are you going to do that?
This is one way in which council housing is a mess. With the private sector, people downsize and realise some capital by moving house. They have an incentive to move out of London and go to Somerset when they retire. For someone living in London in a council estate it means moving away from family.