It's news today (Guardian, BBC) that the ConDems are planning to introduce a social housing system where councils will check the finances of tenants every 2 years. If the tenant has too much money they will be evicted.
I've had impaired mobility since I was born, but it's only been within the last 5 years that I've become too ill to work. 6 and a half years ago when I applied for social housing on medical grounds I was in work and probably had too much money to get social housing on financial grounds.
Had I remained healthy (my osteogenesis impairs my mobility but it doesn't make me "unwell") thus continued working then 2 years into my tenancy I'd have still had the financial means to live in the private sector so under this new system it'd have resulted in my eviction.
The only realistic housing prospects for mobility impaired people in the UK at the moment are either social housing or to buy your own home. Private sector rented properties are almost exclusively inaccessible. When I moved into this flat I may have been able to afford private sector rents, but I certainly couldn't afford to buy. And buying or getting a council flat were the only options for living somewhere where my home itself didn't break my bones for me.
If councils start evicting people who can afford private sector rents it's going to have a massive impact on disabled people. Being evicted from an accessible council flat and having to move into an inaccessible private sector property may mean having to give up work if you literally can't get out of your front door to get to work each day. If I was well enough to work and I had a choice between getting a job and getting evicted from my not-accessible-but-better-than-anything-in-the-private-sector home or remaining unemployed but getting to keep the flat where I've got a sort-of-accessible kitchen and a sort-of-accessible bathroom then I'll choose the latter, thanks.
I realise that at the moment they're only planning on implementing this system for new tenants so it won't affect me immediately. But if I ever get rehoused to somewhere that's really, properly accessible then my new tenancy will be limited by the conditions. Which, should someone come up with an effective treatment for my chronic health problems, will leave me stuck between a rock and a hard place with regards to finding work or keeping my home.
Of course, while disabled people may be the most harshly affected due to the lack of accessible private housing, it's an issue that will affect everybody. This two year old CiF piece explains how losing your home if your financial situation improves will lead to people rejecting opportunities to improve their situation. Even the usually ridiculous and vicious Nadine Dorries agrees that limiting social tenancies will lead to reduced aspirations in an attempt to stave off losing ones home. (And the right wing Daily Mail reported it!)
Cameron and Co are absolutely right that something needs to be done about the fact that there's too little available social housing. As someone that lives in a sort-of inaccessible flat because there's too little accessible social housing I'm more aware of that than most. But evicting people with a few grand in the bank is not the answer because of the demotivating factor. If they really want to fix the problem they need to build more housing to replace what Thatcher's Tory government sold off in the 1980s.