Crawley Council sparked controversy when it suggested council tenants with empty bedrooms avoid under-occupation charges by housing homeless lodgers.
This idea could tackle several problems: the environmental impact of under-occupancy, the housing shortage and B&B’s housing the homeless.
Unfortunately the scheme exposed hypocrisy on both political sides. Are the Tories in a position to demonise tenants with extra space when their planning regulations encourage the building of extensions over gardens?
And the council tenants themselves have protested by casting homeless people as dangerous scroungers. If everyone in need of state help is deemed untrustworthy where does that leave benefit claimants?