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Do We Need More Social Housing

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


OneFootInTheGrave Report 21 Mar 2013 08:58

I am asking this because it has been reported that Chancellor George Osborne has told the BBC he does not think the solution to the housing problem is to build more social homes.

I definitely think we need more social housing, what do you think?


Guinevere Report 21 Mar 2013 09:11

We need to stop selling the social housing we already have. That would help.


AnninGlos Report 21 Mar 2013 09:18

It always seemed a bad idea to sell it in the first place. Although it maybe helped a lot of people get on the housing ladder.


Mayfield Report 21 Mar 2013 09:21

It might be an idea to stop importing people to fill 'em up!



LaGooner Report 21 Mar 2013 09:24

My thoughts exactly Mayfield.


OneFootInTheGrave Report 21 Mar 2013 09:24

My view on the sale of council housing is that it would be ok if all the proceeds from the sales of council housing were used in full to build new council houses. Keep the right to buy, not sure how it works at the moment, but jeep it and make it a condition that to be able to buy your house you need to have lived in it for say 10 or 16 years.


Porkie_Pie Report 21 Mar 2013 09:38

I don't no if we need more social housing or not but it seems to me part of the problem is that people see social housing as a long term solution to what should be a short term problem,

Social housing should be for people either just starting out on life's journey or those who fall on hard times who cannot afford to buy their own property but they should be expected to try and better themselves rather than sitting back once in social housing and thinking that it I'm all right jack, Social housing should be a temporary measure and not a home for life.



+++DetEcTive+++ Report 21 Mar 2013 09:41

George Osborne is trying to encourage the economy by underwriting deposits for first and second time buyers of new build homes. Unfortunately, the deposit in cash terms that the buyers have to provide is still quite high.

There must be loads more people who won't have a deposit for many years, so on that basis they will need affordable, quality homes to rent with a probability of a long term rolling lease.

There are also numerous houses standing empty as they can't be sold. I'd like the councils to purchase some of them to refurbish if necessary and let to those on the waiting list.


terryj Report 21 Mar 2013 09:44

as i have said before my wife works in social housing but seems more like the united nations with the people she visits
immigrants come in with ready made families and so go straight to the top of the housing list
we will soon have an influx from albania and rumania which will only make an impossible worse.
the sale of social housing was a massive mistake brought in in the hope that once people owned their home they would become instant tory voters with no thought to where future generations would live.
the increase in buy to let mortgages has only served to push up house prices making it harder for young people to get onto the housing ladder


Porkie_Pie Report 21 Mar 2013 10:11

Terryj, The selling of council houses was not designed to get people voting Tory, It was both to inspire people to better themselves and the reality was that we had councils who could no longer afford to maintain the housing stock because most councils where in debt, That's why when the right to buy came in the conditions where that revenues from the sales went to pay off council debts, So their was no surplus of money to build new social housing,

Everyone likes to blame Thatcher but fact is that the labour party were the first to offer the right to buy in their 1959 manifesto but they lost that election and individual councils have always had the ability to sell council houses, The main housing shortage has happened over the last 10 years but even with a thriving economy labour chose to do nothing about it



Guinevere Report 21 Mar 2013 10:49

It's rather naive to think the selling off wasn't in part to gain more Tory votes, Roy.

The facts are that it was Thatcher who made the existing rules more flexible, enabling more people to buy and also Thatcher who decreed the money raised shouldn't be spent on more social housing.

Her preference was to get rid of it all together. "There is no such thing as society."

Even prominent members of her own party realise it was a mistake.


JackBunion Report 21 Mar 2013 10:57

I would think that we desperately need to increase our social housing stock, and pull down and rebuild much of the substandard houses we have currently. This would really kick start the construction industry in socailly deprived areas like the Valleys and north east England It would also allow people to work in London, where most good jobs are still to be got.

People in their own houses tend to be proud of them and look after them and they are probably their largest investment. If you cannot buy your own home, there should be a low rent alternative. And the rent should not be higher than 10% of the average net wage for that area - otherwise people are in "rent poverty" same as so many now are in "fuel poverty" and "Food poverty" where they are spending more than 10% of income of these things.

Whether this social housing is council owned or private owned is immaterial IMHO. What is really important is that a strict contract is drawn up, that any debts from previous tenancies are dealt with when contract is drawn up.

And that the contract is properly policed to the satisfaction of both the landlord and the tenant ie who is reponsible for maintenance, gardening etc. Now that social housing is being mixed in with private housing on many estates, this is so important to maintain the average value of housing stock in that area.


JoyBoroAngel Report 21 Mar 2013 11:00

whats needed is more two and one bedroom accomadation
so people who are down sizing because of the bedroom tax
have homes to go to why bring in a bedroom tax
if there isnt any homes for people to down size to :-(


Porkie_Pie Report 21 Mar 2013 11:19

Guinevere, I would say its naive to think it was to gain Tory voters,

But if you are going to quote from one of her speeches then may be the full quote/sentence and not just a snippet would be best as it could be misinterpreted in much the same way as it is misquoted today

read the full speech to understand what she was actually saying.


♥†۩ Carol   Paine ۩†♥

♥†۩ Carol Paine ۩†♥ Report 21 Mar 2013 11:25

A few facts.
We were one of the couples who bought our house under the Right to Buy.
We were in out early 30’s (& actually saving for a deposit at that time)
We were among those ‘blocking’ a house & unless we purchased another one would be doing so for the rest of our lives, possibly another 50.
The money gained by the purchase was to be used to build more, thus enabling councils to house others. This was not done.
The building of more social housing, especially smaller 1or2 bedded properties, would cut down the amount of housing benefit paid to private landlords. With the average private rental in my area being £1,000pcm & the social housing rent being £500, this could be a way to drastically cut down the amount of housing benefit paid out every year.


Porkie_Pie Report 21 Mar 2013 11:39

Carol, Proceeds of the sales were paid to the local authorities, but they were restricted to spending the money to reduce their debt until it was cleared, rather than being able to spend it on building more homes,

The problem as i touched on above was that once debt where repaid then councils kept revenues rather than building more social housing, and labour did nothing about it

My objection to those blaming Thatcher is that governments both under Major and Blair have had 2 decades to change this but done nothing about it and people still want to blame Thatcher


Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 21 Mar 2013 12:15

Leaving aside Thatcher ( even I I cannot bring myself to speak too ill of her now she has alzhiemer's) .

One of the areas where I think social housing could bring benefits would be more bungalows for the elderly, I know there are some but not enough judging from the waiting list and though they cost more to build short term ( larger footprint) they would free up many homes where an older person or couple would be prepared to move to a bungalow from a house.

Flats are built, ( though most seem to be private rental or for sale) but unless they're ground floor often lead to the person/s being unable to stay there well into old age, and ending up in residential homes at a much higher cost when they COULD cope at home much longer if in a bungalow.


Merlin Report 21 Mar 2013 13:35

Build more smaller size houses (Not Flats) so people can downsize when they need to,and stop importing tennants for the houses that are available so the indigious population can be housed first. :-D


Guinevere Report 21 Mar 2013 13:59

People blame Thatcher because it was her fault, Roy.

The fact that those who followed after did nothing to repair the damage she caused doesn't make her responsibility for the mess any less.

If you think it's naive to believe that parties create policies in order to gain votes then you really don't understand politicians. I've been around enough politicians to know it's exactly what they do, even at a local level.

I wasn't misquoting Thatcher btw. Here are her words in full. Even more poisonous in context.

Epitaph for the eighties?

"There is no such thing as society"

Prime minister Margaret Thatcher, talking to

Women's Own magazine, October 31 1987

"I think we've been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it. 'I have a problem, I'll get a grant.' 'I'm homeless, the government must house me.' They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation."


AnninGlos Report 21 Mar 2013 14:10

"There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation."

Gwynne are you saying you wouldn't agree with this though? I would say I agree with that. why would youthink that is poisonous? Just curious. Sorry a bit off topic.