Tories: Give good tenants council house ownership

Council estate tenants who ‘contribute to the community’ should be given a discount on the purchase price of their flat, according to former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.

The proposal forms part of Mr Smith’s Centre for Social Justice report, released today, which argues many social housing estates have descended into violent ‘ghettoes’.

“The most radical approach is also the most important,” the report said.

“We recommend that economic analysis be commissioned into the rewarding of constructive behaviour in the community, including, but not limited to, a genuine effort on the part of a social housing tenant to find work, by giving social housing tenants increasingly larger equity stakes in the home.

“Having a stake in a home is both a privilege and a responsibility. It would inculculate the values of constructive social behaviour and create, from the vicious cycle, a virtuous cycle, that encourages social housing tenants to improve their own family’s future.”

The Conservatives are not under an obligation to adopt the proposals, but the thinktank’s suggestions have met with sympathetic ears among David Cameron’s team in the past.

Since being forced out as party leader, Mr Duncan Smith has built an increasingly well-respected thinktank out of his Centre for Social Justice.

It has previously taken Conservative MPs to problem estates to see for themselves the problems facing marginalised communities.