Watford Trades Council, concerned at the allocation of council houses to people who can well afford to buy their own property, has set up an eight-man committee to look into the matter.

Several members of Natsopa [the National Society of Operative Printers and Assistants] contributed to the discussion which arose on Wednesday when a letter was read from the Amalgamated Union of Building Trade Workers on the subject of housing. The letter condemned the Tory Government and asked for increased subsidies for housing.

First to speak was Mr P. Slavin of Natsopa who said: “Everybody is in favour of the lower paid workers having a bathroom and inside toilet, they should have proper housing conditions. But you find council houses being rented to people whose income is far above those people living in their own homes who are subsidising the wealthier council house tenants.

“I know dozens of instances in my place of employment. people who are living in council houses and people in need – more dire need from a financial point of view – and not getting them.”

He thought there might have to be recourse to a “means test” though he could understand that people did not like that idea.  But something would have to be done to prevent “a man earning £25 [living] in a house subsidised similarly to that of a man earning £7.”

[From the Watford Observer of May 20, 1955]

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