Originally published on July 25 on my blog for Inside Housing.
Pick your moment: the appointment of a new housing minister only two weeks ago; the non-appearance of advance trails in the Sunday papers; or the failure of housing secretary James Brokenshire to rise to Labour’s bait in the Commons on Monday.
They were all strong signals that the social housing green paper, first promised early this year, then in the Spring and then before the recess, would fail to make its appearance by the time MPs went on their summer break on Tuesday.
Challenged over the decision by the BBC’s Mark Easton, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said that: ‘Providing high quality and well managed social housing is a top priority for this government. Shortly we will publish a Green Paper that sets out a new deal for social housing tenants.’
‘Shortly’ in this context might mean over the recess or (more likely) when MPs return in September (though there is some speculation that tensions over Brexit could see this delayed until October).
Either way, social housing seems to be just as much of a ‘top priority’ as it was when Kit Malthouse became the third different housing minister this year, leaving none of the politicians in place who personally assured tenants that they were ‘listening’ to their concerns.