Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An Excellent Article

The Neoliberal Project, Privatisation and the Housing Crisis

Stuart Hodkinson, an activist and housing academic at Leeds University, focuses on the housing crisis and argues that the problems we face can be traced back to the neoliberal assault on our housing system that began in the 1970s and continues unabashed today.........

Posted by milton @ 07:04 PM (955 views)
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5 thoughts on “An Excellent Article

  • This is the heart of the matter. No dogma, no cod market philosophy. The left has some good ideas, the right has some good ideas, both have some terrible ideas. It’s about being pragmatic enough to not compound the mistakes that have already been made and to adapt the good ideas for our present situation. Ditching the idea that a one size solution fits all. To make a healthy housing market take one cup of private rental housing one cup of open market sales and one cup of social housing. Mix thoroughly add decent management and a-political regulation.

    It’s likely no one will take any notice.

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  • “Public housing emerged for a very important reason – the catastrophic failure of private landlordism and the ‘market’ in the 19th and early 20th centuries that had produced the infamous urban slums of Britain.”

    That’s simply not true. The market failures back then were caused by rent controls. The infamous slumlord Peter Rachman used dirty tricks to chase out tenants on controlled rents, and put in their place new tenants on much higher rents.

    Following the Rachman scandal, the 1965 Rent Act brought in even greater protection for sitting tenants. As a result, private rentals became scarce. The government chose the least liberal solution, building more state-controlled council housing, instead of freeing up the private market.

    Obviously I can’t know whether things would have been better or worse if we had gone down a different route. However one thing is certain: today there are no waiting lists for private housing. Anyone can find somewhere to live, as long as they can afford it; and if they can’t afford anything then housing benefit kicks in. It’s not a perfect solution, but nor is the idea that government should provide housing from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

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  • Oh, and LVT would fix the rest of his gripes.

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  • Drewster it’s your logic that’s backwards. Peter Rachman chased out tennants on rent control rents. That does not make the rent control the problem. It made Rachman the problem. He should never have been a landlord. As an example it’s the same as blaming shopkeepers who over-price their goods for shoplifting.

    As for choosing the least liberal solution, so what? Are you saying the most liberal solution to any problem is the best one?

    We have witnessed what happens with the freeing up of the private market – the biggest housing bubble in history. As for quoting the socialist dogma, that’s just a cheap stupidly black and white argument to make. Social housing ≠ socialist.

    To equate the disaster we are experiencing with earlier problems around private letting and rent controls is revisionist. We tried it the liberal way for twenty five years and it has blown itself up. It failed. Shot itself in both feet then cut it’s legs off to save its feet. Much more miserably and with more disastrous economic consequences than any attempt at controlling rents ever did.

    The liberal solution is what got us here. I know it’s hard when something you thought was a panacea turns out to be snake oil, and I feel your pain, but applying the liberalisation argument here is pouring kerosene onto a roaring blaze.

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  • Drewster it’s your logic that’s backwards. Peter Rachman chased out tennants on rent control rents. That does not make the rent control the problem. It made Rachman the problem. He should never have been a landlord. As an example it’s the same as blaming shopkeepers who over-price their goods for shoplifting.

    As for choosing the least liberal solution, so what? Are you saying the most liberal solution to any problem is the best one?

    We have witnessed what happens with the freeing up of the private market – the biggest housing bubble in history. As for quoting the socialist dogma, that’s just a cheap stupidly black and white argument to make. Social housing ≠ socialist.

    To equate the disaster we are experiencing with earlier problems around private letting and rent controls is revisionist. We tried it the liberal way for twenty five years and it has blown itself up. It failed. Shot itself in both feet then cut it’s legs off to save its feet. Much more miserably and with more disastrous economic consequences than any attempt at controlling rents ever did.

    The liberal solution is what got us here. I know it’s hard when something you thought was a panacea turns out to be snake oil, and I feel your pain, but applying the liberalisation argument here is pouring kerosene onto a roaring blaze.

    Reply
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