Tag Archives: social housing

Opinion: emotional cleansing or ‘oops, your metaphor’s slipped’

Fluff over substance
I have a confession. While I have reservations about the current policy on social housing, that’s not what this piece is about. Andrew Stunell has written compellingly about our policy as has Dominic Curran.

All I’ll say is that successive Labour and Tory governments have failed abysmally over the last thirty years to invest in affordable housing. They’ve helped exacerbate social and community division, inflate housing price bubbles and distort the economy and our attitudes to wealth. Unwittingly or not, they are the architects of the ghetto. So

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 20 Comments

Andrew Stunell writes… Myth-busting: what the Coalition’s plans for houses really mean

There has been a lot of talk over the last few months about the Coalition’s plans for social housing. Much has been written, and most of it has been wrong, as illustrated by Dominic Curran’s piece on Lib Dem Voice yesterday. This piece is intended to explain what we are actually doing, rather than what the Labour party, and their friends in the media want you to think we’re doing.

Firstly, we will be increasing social housing supply by more each year than Labour achieved in thirteen years added together.  That’s because Labour sold off almost as many houses as …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 41 Comments

Opinion: Council Housing – our role in its downfall

Housing is not an issue of Conservatism or Socialism. It is an issue of Humanity

The Conservative Minister for Housing said that. In the 1950s. His name was Harold Macmillan, and he oversaw more than 300,000 homes built every year of that decade, two thirds of which were council homes.

Those words were spoken in a time when there was a consensus that the state should step in where there had been a market failure, and to ensure that everybody who wanted a decent home could afford one. Fast forward fifty years and what has happened that concrete and brick foundation …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 54 Comments

Opinion: social housing rent should be means tested

Our Lib Dem MPs seem to be lining themselves up against the Prime Minister’s suggestion to review they way council houses are allocated, but doesn’t the desperate shortage in affordable housings mean we need to look at reforming the allocation system? Few benefits are given without continued means-testing, so why should council housing be any different?

I am completely against turfing out council tenants when they no longer need it. However, regularly assessing how much council tenants can afford, and adjusting rents accordingly, would be a fair way of allocating what is a precious and finite …

Posted in Op-eds | 39 Comments

Opinion: Social housing – an unlikely new battleground?

In the weeks following the election the Coalition had very little to say about housing. The budget announced restrictions on the local housing allowance on the back of a narrative about needing to rein in the vast amounts being spent on multi-bedroom properties. We are yet to see what the consequences of this will be. But there is cause for concern.

In recent days housing has suddenly emerged as a new battleground, both inside and outside the Coalition. On Tuesday we had David Milliband invading LibDem territory with his advocacy of a Mansion Tax. On Wednesday we had pronouncements from …

Posted in Op-eds | 16 Comments

Social housing: a home for life?

None of us, especially those who are councillors, can fail to understand the huge crisis of social housing waiting lists. It’s not simply the homeless or those in desperate need of a decent home. Many families will never be able to afford to buy their own home, yet face many years in unsuitable and overcrowded accommodation because of a shortage of affordable homes to rent.  Currently social housing tenants are granted secure tenancies, not only for their lives, but often to pass onto their children. This continues regardless of the needs of future tenants. So would fixed-term tenancies be a fairer way to allocate the limited supply of cheap housing?

Certainly David Cameron seems to think so. Speaking in Birmingham yesterday, the Prime Minister said it makes sense for tenants to be given fixed-term deals in future – so they can be moved on if their circumstances change and those in most need can be housed.  After hearing from a mother living in overcrowded accommodation, he said:

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