Sunday, October 31, 2010
“The End of Social Housing 1945-2010”
Picture is from the front page of Friday’s “Inside Housing” magazine. Its grim conclusion is that the ConDems have decided to end Social Housing.
To be clear this is about the ending of a key plank of the welfare state, it is about the end of all Social Housing whether provided by Councils or Housing Associations. I don’t think that people generally have “got this” yet.
Quite rightly they have been distracted at the plans to “Kosovo” style cleanse the poor out of middle class Britain.
For much of the 20th century, all British governments, Labour and Tory, provided direct financial support to build social housing for working people, the elderly and the vulnerable. This government has decided that it will not be doing so any more.
There is some money set aside for existing commitments but once this is spent any new homes for rent will only be allowed to be built if they charge tenants 80% of market rents. They also will lose their security of tenure. What this will mean according to Inside Housing is that an average working family of three will pay £140 more per week (note per week) than they would currently. This is not social housing anymore.
Ordinary working families will not be able to afford to live in such “housing” and will seek cheaper and smaller housing in privately owned slums and ghettos.
Unemployed tenants will fall into arrears due to housing benefit cuts and will face eviction; they will be held to be “intentionally homeless” and be forced to move into privately owned slums and ghettos.
Ironically the foundation of the Welfare State was laid by Liberal, William Beveridge. One of the “5 Giants” it was created to tackle was “squalor”. We are about to turn full circle.
Does anyone in this government “get it” either?