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Monday, 28 September 2015

Getting to grips with an ongoing problem.

Labour considers biggest social house building drive since 70s

Why hasn't this happened for 35 years?

Successive governments over those years, (and even before then), have had an interest in maintaining a "housing shortage".
A shortage in the homes for purchase sector, stimulates demand and thereby increases the price level. Government duplicity in promoting schemes and incentives like right to buy, first time buyer grants,buy to rent,"affordable houses" and the rest are nothing more than a gesture for public consumption and do nothing to address the real problem.
In the rented sector, the situation is even more chronic. Local councils have by government directive and some by their own volition, abandoned their historic function of providing rented accommodation within their areas. Many council houses have been sold off on the open market and of those remaining, all have been passed to Housing Associations who now provide "social housing" for those "on the waiting list". However, even where Housing associations are building homes, the demand is far in excess of supply. In the private rented sector, the position is even worse. A significant number of Private landlords have increased rent levels to such an extent that many people are unable to afford either rent or mortgage and consequently will remain in need of housing for many years. In many cases, the higher rent levels are paid for by Housing benefits, which results in an ever increasing Welfare bill.
Governments of all political persuasions, have completely abdicated their responsibilities for the provision of housing in this country particularly in the social housing sectors, and have allowed builders, speculators and private landlords to profit from ever increasing demand in the housing markets.

Estate agent window

The "housing problem" has been festering in our society for many years and has created division and mistrust between people. Perhaps now, with the proposals from Shadow Housing Minister John Healey, we may at last begin to tackle this issue.