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Social Housing 'faces Slow Death'. 88,000 Homes Forecast To Be Lost By End Of Decade

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Social housing 'faces slow death' . 88,000 homes forecast to be lost by end of decade

Unintended consequences of 'Right To Buy'? Independent

Town halls leaders have issued a bleak warning over the future of council housing in England, warning that 88,000 homes will be lost to the social housing sector by the end of the decade, forcing thousands into the hands of ‘rip-off’ private landlords.

According to new estimates from the Local Government Association (LGA), 66,000 council homes in England will be sold to tenants under the Government’s Right to Buy scheme.

Because local councils only receive one third of the cash from Right to Buy purchases, they will not have the money to replace the lost social housing, the LGA said. In fact, council finances are in such a dire state that they will be forced to sell a further 22,000 council properties.

The falling number of council homes, which had already dropped from 5m in 1981 to 1.7m in 2014, will see more and more people driven into the private rental centre, leading to a £210m increase in the housing benefit bill.

This is much the same story as extending 'Right To Buy' to Housing Associations, who also lack the funds to replace stock.

Net effect: fewer affordable rents, bigger housing benefit bill.

Worth noting the media slant against private landlords while the architect of the scheme escapes criticism.

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The SNP ensured this won't happen in Scotland. Perhaps people in other countries should stop voting for political parties who actively work against their interests.

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Because local councils only receive one third of the cash from Right to Buy purchases,

The other two thirds being used to help push up house prices in general and to pay housing benefit?

Edited by billybong

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The other two thirds being used to help push up house prices in general and to pay housing benefit?

If that's the aim.

Certainly, it means less 'affordable renting' . . . which has been steadily eroded. The number of council houses is going back down to what it was after the war. Personally I don't see the big thing about home ownership and 'getting on the ladder' . . . whatever that means. People need somewhere to live and security of tenure.

The 'affordable homes' phrase has become meaningless. A one bed flat isn't a home for any kind of family. The extension of 'Right To Buy' is now destroying the last outposts of affordable renting.

Not everyone was able to buy a house after the war, but it was considered reasonable that people needed a place to live. I do think the old criteria still apply: a mortgage was 3 to maybe 3.5 times your salary. Renting was considered sensible at 1/5th of your monthly income. Housing benefit not needed.

I'm surprised this hasn't received more attention. But I suppose renters are not considered Tory voters. Shirley Porter lives on.

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so since 1979:

Union representation crushed

Wages deflated away against inflation

A mass privitisation of social housing via right to buy and consequently the inrta creep of rising rents

Priced out of home ownership

Priced out of the global labour markets

Sell off/destruction of most means of industry/production

The increase of higher education to £9000 a year from nothing, with little to no justification.

Etc etc

Meanwhile the gap between penury and privalege has never been as high. Even those who can command skills and good wages find themselves unable to afford adequate shelter nearby their places of employment.

All these things were taken for granted by the previous generations (boomer and X).

You'd almost start to think it was all done on purpose..

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The SNP ensured this won't happen in Scotland. Perhaps people in other countries should stop voting for political parties who actively work against their interests.

That's what everyone did in 1997. Things can only get better!! How we laughed...

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That's what everyone did in 1997. Things can only get better!! How we laughed...

I laugh at you lot whinging about high house prices yet continuing to vote for the same old same old.

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I laugh at you lot whinging about high house prices yet continuing to vote for the same old same old.

Well if you think about it most BTL landlords will keep voting Tory - same thing on here.

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Titter ye not Mrs.....GO is going to cut our rents by 1% starting in april for 4 years.

I think they realised that they could cut HB in this way.

I think they realised the bubble would blow if they didn't.

Also if you don't keep inflating house prices you've got less of a reason to cut housing benefit.

Hence another reason to keep.infkating prices, if you're GO.

Edited by pig

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Well if you think about it most BTL landlords will keep voting Tory - same thing on here.

At least it is obvious why BTL'ers are voting Tory. They represent their interests. I have heard plenty of folks on here saying they vote Tory. Many more saying they vote UKIP.

Turkey's voting for Xmas. No sympathy from me.

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At least it is obvious why BTL'ers are voting Tory. They represent their interests. I have heard plenty of folks on here saying they vote Tory. Many more saying they vote UKIP.

Turkey's voting for Xmas. No sympathy from me.

Then again, for many the site was a focus for protesting New Labour while the rest of the nation were happy clappy about them.

That's a good 13 years of cognitive dissonance that I don't think 5 years of coalition and 1 year of the Tories on their own has had time to sort out.

UKIP, yes the mind boggles, but I guess that just reinforces the idea of irrational political allegiance.

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To avoid covering old ground, I probably should have posted this under a previous thread:

Shouldn't The Government Just Get On And Build More Council Houses?

Some good observations here.

The sell off of council housing was introduced under Mrs Thatcher, but Labour had dropped any opposition to it by Blairtime.

It's estimated that one-third of the stock was bought by wealthy landlords. Charles Gow, the son of Tory Housing Minister, bought 40 former council flats in South West London. Others were sold to speculators at many times their original value. By 1997, 2.1 million council houses had been sold. By that year, housing benefit had tripled to 12 billion.

In 2014, at 24 billion, Housing Benefit is second only to pensions in the DWPs budget.

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I think the picture gets quite distorted. Don't forget that it was Labour who first proposed a right to buy in their 1959 manifesto, the idea was hijacked by Thatcher. In principle there is nothing wrong with having a right to buy, if done properly, it can increase social mobility.

However, the way it's been implemented, in some ways it's entrenched inequality and basically led to insecurity of tenure for the poor and all the societal issues that creates which end up costing the country dearly. Governments did not replace most of the social housing that was lost and that is the real problem.

I say the picture is distorted because little seems to be said about those people it helped. Do you think a lot of them are claiming housing benefit? They got on the property ladder and they're probably still on it. Yes I mean okay many will have benefited from the inequity of rising house prices but i imagine most are not in the private rented sector not that this is what you're implying.

Lastly there's also a general problem in estates that you can't escape in how people become stuck in them and that is generally speaking not a good thing for society. Or how you end up with lots of people of a similar social standing and education living in the same place. The Right to Buy at least helps to remedy this situation somewhat. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not saying the areas should become completely gentrified, that wouldn't be a good thing either but I guess I'm just a firm believer in that old principle that it's better for society if communities are mixed.

Edited by spacedin

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Nothing per se wrong with right to buy as a policy, the key problem is that it doesn't seem to have occurred to any of the TPTB that building new social housing to replace that sold off might be a good idea.

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Everyone who says RTB would have been alright if replacement homes had been built is ignoring the likelihood that most of the point of the exercise was to get rid of public housing altogether.

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There is a direct correlation between the sell off and the increase in housing benefit, shouldered by all taxpayers.

Increased rents are also direct result. Less than half of the council houses sold remain for owner occupation.

Those who benefitted from the sell off - working class tories introduced to flipping houses - were a small minority compared to those disadvantaged.

According to wiki, Government receipts for the sell off amounted to 28bn. Housing benefits cost the Government 24bn every year.

There is no economic case for destroying social housing.

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There is a direct correlation between the sell off and the increase in housing benefit, shouldered by all taxpayers.

Increased rents are also direct result. Less than half of the council houses sold remain for owner occupation.

Those who benefitted from the sell off - working class tories introduced to flipping houses - were a small minority compared to those disadvantaged.

According to wiki, Government receipts for the sell off amounted to 28bn. Housing benefits cost the Government 24bn every year.

There is no economic case for destroying social housing.

That's a very one sided way of looking at it. It's true there is a correlation between the selling off of council housing and an increase in housing benefit but had they been replaced like for like, or two for one, the right to buy would have been a good thing for reasons I outlined in the previous post.

"Those who benefited from the sell off - working class Tories" - Yes of course because it's only Tories who buy council houses...

"those who benefited were a small minority compared to those disadvantaged" - With no Right to Buy and few council houses built, people would still be disadvantaged, because people have kids... the population increases....

If a million people buy their homes, which many will have been paying their hard earned income toward for many years, then a million people become owner occupiers, they are far less likely to claim housing benefit again and I'd argue so are their kids.

"Less than half of the council houses sold remain for owner occupation." So what if landlords own lots of these properties? It doesn't tell you anything about what the former owner did. This reminds me of the buy to let landlord who believes that if he rents out less properties, those properties vanish into thin air.

"destroying social housing" - do you have to put everything in such emotive terms? I don't think anyone on this thread is in favour of 'destroying social housing'...

Edited by spacedin

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<snip> "destroying social housing" - do you have to put everything in such emotive terms? I don't think anyone on this thread is in favour of 'destroying social housing'... <snip>

Perhaps not, but a majority of the Conservative party is in favour of just that, and currently (until 2020) they're the ones in charge.

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There's nothing wrong with Right to Buy in principle but the fact that they have to offer such huge discounts exposes the lie that most everyone wants to buy and be an "owner" rather than just rent.

It's the quality of the rental and the landlord that's the important thing rather than the choice between owning or renting.

Edited by billybong

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Perhaps not, but a majority of the Conservative party is in favour of just that, and currently (until 2020) they're the ones in charge.

Yes I agree. And again, just like with the way the original Right to Buy was implemented I'm against what they're doing and I'd also never vote for them. I apologise if my post was a little disjointed.

I'm hopeful the Labour party will have a robust debate about these issues now that Corbyn leads the party. Many of the criticisms of the Right to Buy are very valid but the issue is being looked at in too black and white a way. I think it's beneficial for there to be some path toward ownership for people living in social housing.

I'd also like to see more creative thinking from policy makers. Many people would be happy to live under cohousing arrangements for example.

Edited by spacedin

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Well, as a council dweller I feel sure that the Tories will get rid of the last remaining council houses over the next couple of years.

How are they going to do that ?

By allowing council tenants to buy for less than the cost of renting.. So what`s new I hear you cry ?!

No bank loan, backstopped by the government.

Of course repairs can be overlooked........

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I'd also like to see more creative thinking from policy makers. Many people would be happy to live under cohousing arrangements for example.

I think you do a great injustice to our Tory policymakers.

They are already generously and creatively contributing to the co-housing container scheme in Sangatte.

If the pilot is successful, I am assured that Help To Buy co-housing container space will be rolled out in Ashford followed by Right To Buy A Bunk.

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The SNP ensured this won't happen in Scotland. Perhaps people in other countries should stop voting for political parties who actively work against their interests.

As my chances of ever getting a social house are zero (I am not a single mum), this is not against my interest.

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As my chances of ever getting a social house are zero (I am not a single mum), this is not against my interest.

Well, there you go then. Time for guys to shack up with a single mum.

I can see a trending dating profile here. 'Pretty 20 something, own social housing, seeks employed partner to top up benefits.'

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