Thursday, March 05, 2009

Brown Bashes Boris for slashing homes for rent.

Languishing at home struggling stoically with mans flu (see previous post?) I have just received a “TheyWorkForYou” email alert. I have an alert on my local Labour MP (and UNISON member) for West Ham, Lyn Brown. Whenever she asks a Parliamentary Question they send an alert to me. I followed the link and found that Lyn has asked it of Harriet Harman in yesterdays “Prime Ministers Question Time”. The other Brown (Gordon) was of course across the pond saying Hello to Obama and wowing Congress while Harriet was standing in for him in the bear pit.

Lyn's question was:
Some 34,000 families in my constituency are languishing on the council's housing waiting list. They earn, on average, less than £24,000 per year, yet the Mayor of London has decided to decrease the numbers of homes for rent built in the capital by 10 per cent. Failing to deal with the snow was one thing, but blatantly ignoring the needs of my constituents and tens of thousands of other Londoners is another. Can she—will she—intervene?

Harriet’s reply was
know that my hon. Friend and her hon. Friends will stand up for all those people in London who need housing and need it now. While Boris Johnson, the Mayor, does not recognise their concerns, I know that they have, in my hon. Friend, a champion on housing.

On the link (here) you could actually see a video which I have copied and pasted above.

What Boris is actually doing is letting people who earn up to £72,000 per year buy subsidised homes under shared ownership schemes instead of building desperately needed affordable homes for rent.

Bearing in mind that anyone buying a home during the next year or so is likely to be owning a depreciating asset, surely one thing we have learnt from this “sub-prime” banking recession is that people on very low and often insecure incomes should not be encouraged to take out mortgages. The Tories really don’t “get it” do they? Their ideological obsession with home ownership in the face of the “bleeding obvious” is staggering.

Check out press release by Labour GLA Housing spokesperson Nicky Gavron.

By coincidence I got an email from Lyn beforehand in response to this post. We are going to have “a chat” on the TULO "Fair Redundancy Pay" issue.


Anonymous said...

Couldnt agree more - affordable housing is desperately needed.

I take it when you are canvassisg in Royal Docks and Newham you will be highlighting the case of Beckton Cllr Chowdry.She owns 16 homes in Newham. There are currently 3,500 homeless families housed in temporary accomadation and B&Bs.

From here register of interests.

82 Downing Road, Beckton, E6 Owner
95 Lonsdale Road, East Ham, E6 Owner
6 Truesdale Road, E6 Owner
100 Park Avenue, E6 Owner
199 Tollgate Road Owner
10 Harrier Way, Beckton E6 Owner
27 Trader Road, Beckton, E6 Owner
5 Hogarth Close, Beckton, E6 Owner
47 Plymouth Road, E16 Owner
205 Tollgate Road, Beckton Owner
39 Albert Roase Close, E6 Owner
59 Fourth Avenue E6 Owner
16a Forest Side E7 Owner
18 Eric Close E7 Owner
96a Plashet Grove E7 Owner
5 Chelmsford Close E6 Owner

Of forgot to mention - She is of course a Labour Councillor.

John Gray said...

Hi Anon
Gosh! – Asian Labour Councillor owns properties and she declares it on Council public register! She also openly declares she is the Chair/director of a property management company. Where have you been since 1989? Are only Council tenants allowed to join the Labour Party? So what should we do – nationalise all privately owned homes?

What relevance has this to the post about Boris cutting the number of rented homes by 10%? While I think that the primary supplier and manager of public housing should be Councils and Housing associations do you think that there should be no private (regulated) rented sector? Part of the reason for the mess we are in is that unlike other European countries there is not a developed private rented sector.

marshajane said...

Reminds me of those lovely stickers i got from tolpuddle this year - Landlords = Bastards.

As someone who works inlocal authority housing and knows how reliant we are now on PSL (Private sector Leasing) properties and what shits some landlords can be (having to deal with illegal evictions/harrasment etc on a daily basis)

I guess my vision is a bit clouded! lol but hey you go with what you know!.

Im personally fed up with giving hundreds of pounds a day to bastard landlords via the so called rent deposit schemes (landlords can get up to 500quid on top of the deposit for every property they sign up as a bonus) so that they provide short term accomodation for our homeless people.

This money runs into billions and should be invested into social housings - Council housing as my 1st choice but in this climate RSL's aswell.

Saying that JG - I agree with the main post of yours!
listening to Boris explain this scheme on bbc news yesterday was awful - its so terrible that people earning 72k a year still cant get on the property ladder of course our priority is to help them - when he was asked about people who earn significantly less than that he said well there is social housing.

Says it all really

Anonymous said...

Offerdable housing is needed deseperatly.Some times rent go beyond the limit of your earning.I am happy,atleast you have taken intiative.

Sean said...

They key point is the regulation and security of tenure. Many people buy on the basis they want to have a place to live for as long as they chose. This is particulalry the case where children are involved with regards to schools childcare etc. Perhaps I speak from bitter experience having had to move three times not because I wanted to but because my landords decided they wanted the property back. Where I live now last year the landlord decided to put the property up for sale all he was required to do was to give us two months notice.Luckily the greedy bastard got burnt by the slump and didnt have to move for a fourth time in 18 years. Fact is this type of process undermines community cohesion and the whole principle of communites. I must admit the failure to do anyting signifciant to roll back landlordism of this type was one of my biggest dissapointments of the Labour government. Quite simply the market hasnt worked on this. The belief in ownership over renting as the model for homes sadly stretches across all major parties. Of course this also has a knock on effect on other issues such as our public sector pay claims: Owners may benefit from lower mortgage rates and thus see a fall in their cost of living those who rent so not.If anything the pressure on rents is upwards as a result of the inability of people to get into buying.

Anonymous said...

I would love to reply but yet again to make a point you bring up ethnicity in a desperate bid to prove your point and make out that anyone who disagrees with you is racist. I dont know why you feel the need to point out that Cllr Chowdry is Asian.I never mentioned race and never would being from a minority myself.
Your continual use of this tactic doesnt lend itself to constructive andhealthy debate.

John Gray said...

Hi Marsha
I’m not sure that it is terribly helpful to think nowadays that “Landlord = Bastard” since many of our members will be small scale landlords themselves and won’t see anything wrong with being a landlord. In the same way that just because someone is a manager or runs their own small company it doesn’t mean they are all “bad” bosses. I take your serious point that some private landlords do seriously rip off tenants and councils. Better and more effective regulation is key in the short term but actually I think in the long term we need to change society attitudes to home ownership and have renting to the tenure of choice in the public and private sector. Not least because if more people rented long term there would be more political pressure to clean out the rogue landlords.

Thank you Dubai Properties (not sure what else to say?)

Hi Sean
Yes, security of tenure is vital to persuade people that renting is a good option. One good idea in Europe and elsewhere is that they can rent the basic shell of a home out on very long term leases. The tenant installs the kitchens and plumbing and internal decs etc if you can’t afford or want to do this then you pay more rent.

What we need is housing investment trusts which are not just tax dodges but will encourage pension funds to invest in public and private housing schemes for rent. Long term investors should be more interested in returns from long term leases or secure tenancies.

Hi Anon
You are really sensitive to being called a racist? Which I suppose on one level is a good thing. My point however I would have thought obvious – As a very sensible Asian trade union friend of mind (who is not a landlord or councillor) pointed out to me - due to a variety of reasons cultural, past discrimination in the wider workplace, religiously objections to pensions - many Asians became landlords. Of course this is a generalisation but not I think an unreasonable one. I assume anon (perhaps wrongly) that you are a white male and would have had a wider choice of employment prospects than many Asians or other black people.

Anonymous said...

I think you might just find that and race , colour or creed would have difficulty in becoming a multi-millionaire landlord.
And I do belong to a minority.In fact I belong to two.

John Gray said...

Hi anon
Property management has been a traditional East End route out of poverty for successive waves of immigrants to this country.

Me too perhaps we are related? But who really knows about you since you hide your identity? I still assume you are white?

Anonymous said...

"Property management has been a traditional East End route out of poverty for successive waves of immigrants to this country"

Ah another sweeping generalisation.
The other 59 councillors in Newham then are not doing a very good job at escaping the poverty then. I would suggest that you let Newham Council know this so they can run their next election on this. Escape Poverty - Become a Landlord.

John Gray said...

Hi Anon

But it is true!

BTW - is there any reason why you do not post in your own name or is it just you are too cowardly?

I just wondered.

Anonymous said...

The reason I do not post my details are because I was targeted previously specifically because of being part of a minority. No other reason.Plus we all cant be as pretty as a picture like yourself.

John Gray said...

Hi Anon

No, I don't believe you on your first point while your second point is of course the bleeding obvious!

Anonymous said...

John really whats the point? You ask a question - I give you an answer and then you say you dont believe it.

John Gray said...

Hi anon

No I don't - you can of course always email me about your circumstances P&C via my profile.

Mike Law said...

As Lyn Brown claimed more than £15,000 for a second home in 2007-2008, any idea where that might be?