Britain needs new social housing schemes to end the scandal of private rentals.

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JamesGibson
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#1
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#1
Ever since Thatcher privatised social (council) housing, we simply haven't been able to build enough homes each to keep with the demand. Now, I think we need to be asking ourselves whether we need to look at alternatives to the private sector and start government-backed construction schemes again.
Lots of evidence is also pointing towards the exploitation of tenants by rich landlords on big council estates - i.e former council estates that are now owned by real estate giants. Surely it would be better if these properties were in the social domain and not ran for profit?

According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of people renting their homes has increased from 6.7m in 2006 to 8.3m in 2011. Interestingly, the ONS attributes this huge growth in private rentals to the fact that house prices are rising faster than wages. This factor, combined with the harshest welfare cuts in British history, has meant home ownership has become something reserved solely for the middle class.
Article: http://www.leftwards.co.uk/britain-n...-polarisation/
I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the issue - especially as many of you are probably renting your accommodation for uni.
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Welsh_insomniac
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#2
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#2
(Original post by JamesGibson)
Ever since Thatcher privatised social (council) housing, we simply haven't been able to build enough homes each to keep with the demand. Now, I think we need to be asking ourselves whether we need to look at alternatives to the private sector and start government-backed construction schemes again.
Lots of evidence is also pointing towards the exploitation of tenants by rich landlords on big council estates - i.e former council estates that are now owned by real estate giants. Surely it would be better if these properties were in the social domain and not ran for profit?



I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the issue - especially as many of you are probably renting your accommodation for uni.
Maybe Margaret Thatcher was a little short sighted in allowing people to buy their council homes for very cheap and not investing in future council housing to be built, but without that bill my parents would still be living in a council house with probably relatively little wealth. That started a chain reaction of ownership for my family and many like mine; improving our family wealth for generations to come.

The slow movement of wealth from those in rental properties to wealthy landlords is a bit issue that needs to be solved. How do you propose we go about doing that? Do we not allow people to own more than two houses? That wouldn't be a terrible idea but I'm not sure how pragmatic that may be. I'm interested on your thoughts though, your blog indicates you've done a lot of research and have a lot of ideas on how socialism will benefit the masses.
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JamesGibson
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#3
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#3
Admittedly, lots of people (like your parents) benefited from right to buy, however that doesn't mean the scheme was sustainable. Now that almost all former social housing is in the private sector, lower income families today are forced into renting from landlords who're buying up real estate with the intention of charging extortionate rents.

Ultimately, I think we need more rental controls (i.e more tenant rights, hard caps on how expensive rent can get) and we need to start building more social housing. If we commissioned local authorities to build an extra 100,000 homes each year, we could solve all of our housing needs and benefit lower income families at the same time. Of course, this would disrupt the government's austerity/deficit reduction plans, but I would suggest that housing for the masses is far more important than meeting fictitious and politically motivated fiscal targets.
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Maker
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Welsh_insomniac)
Maybe Margaret Thatcher was a little short sighted in allowing people to buy their council homes for very cheap and not investing in future council housing to be built, but without that bill my parents would still be living in a council house with probably relatively little wealth. That started a chain reaction of ownership for my family and many like mine; improving our family wealth for generations to come.

The slow movement of wealth from those in rental properties to wealthy landlords is a bit issue that needs to be solved. How do you propose we go about doing that? Do we not allow people to own more than two houses? That wouldn't be a terrible idea but I'm not sure how pragmatic that may be. I'm interested on your thoughts though, your blog indicates you've done a lot of research and have a lot of ideas on how socialism will benefit the masses.
Your parents could have saved without right to buy. They could have opened a savings account, bought shares or increased their pensions contributions. They did not need to take a valuable social assent out of public ownership.
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Jacob-C
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#5
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#5
I really like your blog James and agree with your comments here.

There is not just a lack of social housing but affordable housing overall, even a Tory government has recognised this with the Help to Buy scheme which obviously isn't working. Local councils should have the power to act on property developers who just sit on land and do not build on it, whether this be through fining them or even repossessing the land. Every effort which can be made to get more housing built should be considered.

With rental controls there certainly needs to be protections for tenants so that their landlord does not pull the property from under their feet or push the price up excessively, causing a lot of suffering to people. Sometimes money is needed to be spent in order to generate economic growth and especially so when people are struggling to make ends meet.
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Welsh_insomniac
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Maker)
Your parents could have saved without right to buy. They could have opened a savings account, bought shares or increased their pensions contributions. They did not need to take a valuable social assent out of public ownership.
Then why did many people fail to own a home prior to the "right to buy" scheme? My parents do have some fairly nice pension contributions, they were smart enough to do that at a young age. They probably could have. But the ability to buy their council house, as well as the inflated housing market price that resulted from that allowed them to buy and sell their way up the property ladder and are now living in a house well out of their wildest dreams when they were living in a council house.

I understand they profited from rising housing prices that have now left myself and my generation in a tough situation but I'd be stupid to hate it considering my upbringing has been much nicer as a result of their success of owning a home.
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Maker
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#7
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#7
(Original post by Welsh_insomniac)
Then why did many people fail to own a home prior to the "right to buy" scheme? My parents do have some fairly nice pension contributions, they were smart enough to do that at a young age. They probably could have. But the ability to buy their council house, as well as the inflated housing market price that resulted from that allowed them to buy and sell their way up the property ladder and are now living in a house well out of their wildest dreams when they were living in a council house.

I understand they profited from rising housing prices that have now left myself and my generation in a tough situation but I'd be stupid to hate it considering my upbringing has been much nicer as a result of their success of owning a home.
The social house they bought was heavily subsidized by the taxpayer which partly the reason why councils now cannot afford to build new social housing. If they had paid a true market price to it, then there would have been enough money to build replacement houses.

All right to buy has done is concentrated wealth in the older generation and denied it to the current generation. Its the current generation's work that is keeping the price of houses where it is now.

The previous generation struck a poor bargain because its their children who have to stretch themselves to even afford a very modest house in a rough location..
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illegaltobepoor
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#8
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#8
(Original post by JamesGibson)
Ever since Thatcher privatised social (council) housing, we simply haven't been able to build enough homes each to keep with the demand. Now, I think we need to be asking ourselves whether we need to look at alternatives to the private sector and start government-backed construction schemes again.
Lots of evidence is also pointing towards the exploitation of tenants by rich landlords on big council estates - i.e former council estates that are now owned by real estate giants. Surely it would be better if these properties were in the social domain and not ran for profit?



I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the issue - especially as many of you are probably renting your accommodation for uni.
James how about we cut to the chase. The current Government do not want increases in social housing because it will decrease the amount of money in landlords pockets.
As most wealthy people vote Conservative the last thing a Conservative Government would do is harm their voters income stream.

We also need to remember one of the core reasons that kept the Pound strong during the financial crisis was our huge demand for rental property. This huge demand has driven rent prices to extortionate levels. It is not just the landlords charging high rents it is the market conditions of allowing high rents. Because of this the UK property market is seen as a safe bet for investors and attracts investment worldwide.

Now lets say the next Government starts to undermine this piggy bank of global investment. What is going to happen is house prices will fall and there will be a huge exodus of foreign money exiting the country. There will be implications on the Pound Sterling and maybe even danger within our GILT Bond market of national debt if other countries view us as a bad economy. This will be bad for the higher classes but for the working class and the wider economy it will be enough to heal us from the age of austerity.

If people are paying lower rent they will have more money in their pockets and spend more. Workers spend 99.9% of their income at the moment due to low interest rates. While there will be a huge exodus of foreign money which is never spent there will be a huge increase of money within our national market which is fluid within the system. Basically fluid meaning it is travelling from A to B to C rather than sitting in a bank. Someone buys a TV, Someone gets a new job and gets paid a wage, the taxman gets some money to pay towards the national debt.

If this healing happens we may be able to increase interest rates and fix the economy. As for our GILTS Bond debt the other countries will see we are a safe bet though our increased growth of GDP rather than our cannibalizing housing market.

The current path we are heading is nothing but a path of deception. The housing bubble is nothing more than a game of monopoly where houses are being transferred to fewer and fewer owners and rental demand increases year on year depositing yet more profit into landlords hands.

When the Conservatives say the economy is doing good what they mean is it is great for the upper class. But that is where we are going. We have been milked once though the last recession and the legacy of thatcher has been milking us ever since. And these Tories don't want one of their oldest cash-cows to disappear over night.

I also seriously think help to buy is nothing more than a quick way to inject more liquidity into the housing bubble. Get workers to buy houses, shoot interest rates up, bankrupt them and then let big firms swallow up the proceeds when the time is right.
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Rakas21
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#9
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#9
While I do believe that we should increase further private incentives like abolishing taxation on residential construction and loosening planning law for major cities, it is clear that the private sector cannot fully meet demand and as such I would not oppose the building of 100,000 homes by the state each year so long as funding came from cuts in public spending elsewhere.

I stress however that I fully support retaining the right to buy with some reform, its s fantastic aid for social mobility.
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SpiggyTopes
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#10
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#10
That will be expensive, and there's not much money floating around at the moment.
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DorianGrayism
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#11
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#11
A) The Private sector are not building houses because the planning laws are idiotic.

B) Rent has risen at a lower rate than inflation over the last 15 years. So the concept that Landlords are ripping their tenants off is false.
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Quady
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#12
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#12
(Original post by JamesGibson)
Admittedly, lots of people (like your parents) benefited from right to buy, however that doesn't mean the scheme was sustainable. Now that almost all former social housing is in the private sector, lower income families today are forced into renting from landlords who're buying up real estate with the intention of charging extortionate rents.

Ultimately, I think we need more rental controls (i.e more tenant rights, hard caps on how expensive rent can get) and we need to start building more social housing. If we commissioned local authorities to build an extra 100,000 homes each year, we could solve all of our housing needs and benefit lower income families at the same time. Of course, this would disrupt the government's austerity/deficit reduction plans, but I would suggest that housing for the masses is far more important than meeting fictitious and politically motivated fiscal targets.
How much does the UK Government spend on debt interest?
How much does the UK Government spend on education?

All targets are fictious, but the point is to keep the cost of debt interest as low as possible.

I agree with your idea, but I feel it needs to be accompanied by some mass movements of people to acomplish it which nobody will like. Northern cities like Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow used to house double their present number, we can build on brownfeild sites there (often on demolised sites of previous housing) cheaply and easily. But people have got to move there.
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Quady
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#13
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#13
(Original post by DorianGrayism)
A) The Private sector are not building houses because the planning laws are idiotic.

B) Rent has risen at a lower rate than inflation over the last 15 years. So the concept that Landlords are ripping their tenants off is false.
I don't doubt this one too much, but have you a source? I'd be interested to know more.
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Alfissti
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#14
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#14
(Original post by JamesGibson)

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the issue - especially as many of you are probably renting your accommodation for uni.
I am involved in a business that builds homes. I'm all for more homes to be built but not for rental.

There are several ways the problem can be addressed.

The first thing to realize is there will never be enough social housing as there will always be a high demand for anything that is subsidized.

The way forward is to remove the concept of life tenancies in social housing, perhaps maximum of 7 years before they have to move out won't be a bad move.

The other thing that needs to happen is there needs to be a different model for social housing, instead of it being a rental based system it should move towards a owner occupied system, Norway has a good one where over 90% of all homes are occupied by its owner hence there is a very low demand for rental housing. Singapore also has somewhat of a good model ironically this model had been used since the 1970s and it is through this that the late Margaret Thatcher took inspiration from to implement the right to buy policy, not sure exactly how come it can work so well in Singapore and to an extent Hong Kong but hasn't really worked that well in UK.

The question I like answered first, is social housing by means of council homes/estates actually the way forward even? You can look at it this way, a council estate is essentially the flipside of the same coin of a wealthy area gated community. You build a divisive class ridden society as the only ones who will want to live in one are those who don't really have a choice. I haven't heard of anyone who aspires to live on a council estate.

The next real hurdle is simply a major reform to the planning system, this essentially is a weapon used by many to simply prevent affordable housing.

Building new homes itself isn't the answer, new homes = using up even more land that are now greenfields. Yes there are plenty of brown fields available but many of them aren't so straightforward to build on, many of them are extremely expensive to build on due to the massive amounts of money needed to clean the land first and there just isn't that money to do so.

The other issue that needs to addressed is building on green fields while it is cheap and economical to do so it will contribute to the ever expanding urban sprawl. You could instead opt to build upwards but first planning rules need to be addressed which is another story altogether.
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SpikeyTeeth
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#15
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#15
(Original post by JamesGibson)
Ever since Thatcher privatised social (council) housing, we simply haven't been able to build enough homes each to keep with the demand. Now, I think we need to be asking ourselves whether we need to look at alternatives to the private sector and start government-backed construction schemes again.
Lots of evidence is also pointing towards the exploitation of tenants by rich landlords on big council estates - i.e former council estates that are now owned by real estate giants. Surely it would be better if these properties were in the social domain and not ran for profit?



I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the issue - especially as many of you are probably renting your accommodation for uni.
Why do we have to be so liberal and allow rich foreign anonymous money to buy British property and be so against intervention in the market by limiting how much property each individual can own, and also allowing poor foreigners to get government.benefits to have property. In addition paying some British people more in housing benefits than others earn and I'm talking thousands a month, no joke.

We need to take some lessons from national socialism and think about the rights for the everyday British person not a consortium of special cases and right for absolute freedom to own 1,000 houses etc.

Most of you reading this are going to be "generation rent" so you ought to realise where these values have got you.... Without a paddle.



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RF_PineMarten
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#16
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#16
(Original post by DorianGrayism)
A) The Private sector are not building houses because the planning laws are idiotic.
What is so idiotic about planning laws?
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Quady
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#17
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#17
(Original post by RFowler)
What is so idiotic about planning laws?
They allow for planning applications to be blocked very easily when there is a need for more accommodation?

That NIMBYs can stop everythign cold.
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redferry
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Quady)
They allow for planning applications to be blocked very easily when there is a need for more accommodation?

That NIMBYs can stop everythign cold.
So pissing true. I just want to build 100 wind farms on all of their houses.

The law should be when a council house is sold that money goes into building another. The rent situation is a ****ing joke, especially in London.

1200 a month for a decent 1 bed flat? Disgusting.
I paid a third of that in Leeds.

I think we have to introduce some sort of rent cap.
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RF_PineMarten
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#19
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#19
(Original post by Quady)
They allow for planning applications to be blocked very easily when there is a need for more accommodation?

That NIMBYs can stop everythign cold.
People with legitimate reasons to oppose housing developments, like environmental arguments or pressure on infrastructure, are not "NIMBYs". That is not what the word/acronym means.

Are the people opposing this "NIMBYs", for example? Of course not.

Our planning laws now have a presumption in favour of "development", and they do not offer sufficient protection of valuable habitats. They need to be tightened, not relaxed. Those you wrongly insult as "NIMBYs" actually have a lot less power than you seem to think.

Stricter planning laws are better than relaxed laws, as it forces developers to take the local area into account. I like a system where planning laws are arduous. I would like a system where developers have to make sure their projects are suitable, and cannot ignore legitimate concerns about the environment or infrastructure. I like a system where locals can actually stop developers wrecking their local area. Relaxing planning laws just lets developers do what they want, not what everyone else needs.
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Quady
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#20
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#20
(Original post by RFowler)
People with legitimate reasons to oppose housing developments, like environmental arguments or pressure on infrastructure, are not "NIMBYs". That is not what the word/acronym means.

Are the people opposing this "NIMBYs", for example? Of course not.

Our planning laws now have a presumption in favour of "development", and they do not offer sufficient protection of valuable habitats. They need to be tightened, not relaxed. Those you wrongly insult as "NIMBYs" actually have a lot less power than you seem to think.

Stricter planning laws are better than relaxed laws, as it forces developers to take the local area into account. I like a system where planning laws are arduous. I would like a system where developers have to make sure their projects are suitable, and cannot ignore legitimate concerns about the environment or infrastructure. I like a system where locals can actually stop developers wrecking their local area. Relaxing planning laws just lets developers do what they want, not what everyone else needs.
85 relocateable birds vs 5,000 houses - 2% of the annual requirement? On the face of it, the later.

That was over a year ago, what happened?

You seemed to find it easy enough to demonstrate where NIMBY action got into the press, they have power.

I'm not saying get rid of them all, but there is a balance and currently (and for the last 50 years) the balance has caused a supply large shortage.

That said, if you'd like my property value to increase futher then thats awesome, I'll personally do quite well out of it.
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