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They don't understand what the housing problem is

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


OneFootInTheGrave Report 11 Apr 2013 16:05

How can we get our politicians to do something about the serious shortage of affordable housing and that unless something is done the welfare bill will keep on increasing.

And before anyone starts going on about scroungers, I am not talking about providing houses for those who "deliberately" pursue a life of idleness on benefits paid for by the taxpayer.

I am talking about the people in work who are low paid and work hard and who in their wildest dreams will never get a mortgage unless they win the lottery.

Instead of building houses for these people to rent, we appear to prefer to encourage a private housing to rent market in which many landlords charge rents way in excess of what would be considered a reasonable rent, as a result, the hard working low paid end up having to rely on top-ups from the state just so that they can keep a roof over their head and cover their basic needs.

Outcome - the welfare bill keeps rising, the landlords get richer partly funded by the taxpayer, and the low paid end up needing help as they struggle to make ends meet.

This is false economics, employers need to pay people a decent living wage and people need houses they can afford, so my answer to the Prime Minister's conundrum below is - there is a human impact on hard working low paid families from your current policies and the solution is better wages & the building of more social housing.

The Prime Minister on ITV today:-

The Prime Minister vigorously defended his so-called controversial 'bedroom tax' in an interview with ITV News. Asked if it was fair that children "bear the brunt of this kind of policy", he said:

"There is a human impact on the entire country that we currently spend £23 billion a year on housing benefit, that is more, to put it in context than we spend on the entire transport and home office budgets.


Porkie_Pie Report 11 Apr 2013 16:37

I think that government should legislate for councils to set a fair rent-able value on private rented properties to stop landlords overcharging

Building new affordable social housing in the currant economic circumstances is more difficult, As I said on the Margaret Thatcher thread Government failed to fix the roof whilst the sun was shining.

we have a census every 10 years to assess the future need of the population which should include housing so the question is why when the financial situation improved did the councils/government do nothing?


Edit; As for the paying workers more, the minimum wage should be set at the true cost of living plus a persentage, To allow people in work to save whether for holidays to buy their home or for their retirement


JoyBoroAngel Report 11 Apr 2013 16:49

i think the bedroom tax
which isnt a tax but a benifit cut
should not be enforced till
there is enough social housing built to accomadate
the down sizing public :-(


vera2010 Report 11 Apr 2013 16:51

Well one way to stop the Private landlords gaining so much out of the housing shortage is to get the banks to free up some money. It would at least reduce the demand by allowing some couples to buy whose potential mortgage payment would be a lot less than the current rent they are paying a Private landlord.

As for the lower paid workers whose likelihood of buying is probably nil, free up whatever housing stock that is available by asking people to downsize - not forcing them - and offering alternative accommodation. Stop selling social housing. Look carefully at how they allocate. The points system seems very flawed to me where there is little opportunity for a single person or couple to get to the top of a list.

With regards to David Cameron's remarks. He would say that wouldn't he. Wouldn't have expected anything less.



wisechild Report 11 Apr 2013 16:53

Housing Associations can be as guilty as private landlords when it comes to high rents.
I used to live in a 1 bed HA flat until 2005 & my rent was a good 15% more than I would have paid for a similar LA property. I only just earned above the limit to claim Housing Benefit & as I worked for the LA Housing Dept I know that my flat was nowhere near as well appointed as a La flat would have been.
I lived there for 10 years, during which time there was no maintenance carried out on any of the properties, other than as emergency measures.


vera2010 Report 11 Apr 2013 17:04

I suppose it depends on the area. Here in Cambs the cost of private renting as opposed to HA would be more. I do agree that private rented properties in some areas are better appointed than HA. That was not so of course years ago. My daughter''s half share HA property was very poorly appointed even when new. So much so a relative thought it was 10 years old.



terryj Report 11 Apr 2013 17:24

housing ass rents etc is legislated and as such out of their control as is the way point etc are allocated
waiting lists no longer exist as such you have to go online where all la and housing ass properties that are free are listed and you bid for one within your points score which is then allocated 3 people in a 1,2 ,3 list so no 1 looks at it first if they refuse it no2 gets a look etc.

priority goes to people in hostels and those coming out of prison
so if you fancy a property get yourself locked up


Porkie_Pie Report 11 Apr 2013 17:59

Terryj, "housing ass rents etc is legislated and as such out of their control"

legislation can be changed/amended and even abolished



terryj Report 11 Apr 2013 18:51

yes but not by the housing ass
they tried to get the government to listen on the bedroom tax but they did not want to know


Porkie_Pie Report 11 Apr 2013 19:43

Terryj, As you where a shop steward may be you could ask one of your colleagues in the labour party why they never did so after all they had 13 years to change things



terryj Report 11 Apr 2013 20:38

never been a member of the labour or any other party too busy partying

the labour party have changed things in the last 13 yrs the problem is thatcher and her fellow travellers dragged the country so far to the right its been hard to get it back into even the middle ground and now we are heading beck into the i'm all right jack mind set


Porkie_Pie Report 11 Apr 2013 20:57

Terryj, OFITG has added this thread with a good OP and is asking serious questions,

I have added my points

You Have only added criticism of suggestions and have no valid points to add other than blame the system introduced over 20 years ago,

If you have nothing constructive to add then why both?



InspectorGreenPen Report 11 Apr 2013 20:59

Housing is costly because the demand exceeds supply. This is an economic fact and applies not just to private ownership but to private rentals and social housing too.

The big question is how to increase the supply of new housing, assuming the other alternative of reducing the demand isn't an option.

The laws of economics mean:-

Builders build more new houses when prices are high, less when prices are low.
Buyers buy more new houses when prices are low, less when prices are high

These are serious questions but any Ideas how it might work? That's the hard bit.


terryj Report 11 Apr 2013 22:24

pp you are the one that brought up party politics
i only pointed out that housing ass are controlled on rents and how points are allocated in reply to the post on rent levels

what the country needs is a shift away from home ownership and more affordable social housing that way we would have a more mobile labour force
when the wifes friend emigrated to australia she not only rented the property she lived in but also all the furniture as well so when a better job came in another town she just up sticks an went there
how we stop the urge we have in this country to own houses i do not know as it has just got too far into the nations dna


Porkie_Pie Report 11 Apr 2013 22:49

The OP asked the Question , How can we get our politicians to do something about the serious shortage of affordable housing and that unless something is done the welfare bill will keep on increasing.

So politics is in part what the thread is about thats why my suggestion was talking about legislation for landlords

People have owned and aspired to own their home for centuries it's not a recent phenomenon

We live in a democracy and are free to own what we can afford to buy it's not any individuals or governments place to dictate what we spend our money on or whether we own our own home or not.

Check out the labour party manifesto from 1959 when it included a promise to allow tenants to buy their council house, Thatcher was not the first.

I'm sure OFITG would rather us add constructive comment rather than tit for tat exchanges, So If you have nothing constructive to add then best leave it at that



JustJohn Report 12 Apr 2013 02:49

Roy writes "People have aspired to own their own homes for centuries" I thought that, but not much proof of that in my family tree. Most preferred to rent, I believe.

I see people moving for work. Taking up their belongings and living in cheapish and good rented accomodation. Sometimes having a different address three or four times in a year.

Coal miners might settle in Cosely in the Black Country. The pit would become less productive and jobs in Cosely would become more precarious. So the breadwinner would walk to South Yorkshire (80 miles away) and get a job in Thurcroft colliery in 1913. Six months later his wife would load children and belongings on a goods carriage and the train would take their carriage to the back gate on a temporary rail and the family would unload everything through back yard and back door and start a new life. New place, new schools, new accent, new neighbours, new language even (in case of Wales).

After WW2 there was much less of this cheap rented housing and mobility of labour. And, unlike other more developing countries, everyone wants to live in a large plot in the country with 4 bedrooms. And it is making us all miserable and precarious (4.4 million households are within a month of not being able to keep up house payments.)


OneFootInTheGrave Report 12 Apr 2013 09:31

I admit to being a political animal, that said I do not have an affiliation to any political party, any allegiance I had for any party went out the window, when the best Prime Minster we never had, died suddenly in 1994, and that was John Smith.

Since then I have tried to keep a middle of the road view on political issues, foremost in my mind being what will this mean for those who come after us, hence my opening post was not intended to invoke party politics, it was a question on how to solve a serious social problem which does not fare well for future generations.

On the issue of home ownership, I don't fully subscribe to Roy's comment that, people have aspired to own their own homes for centuries. I say this because in the period from 1900 to 1930 only about 30% of the population owned their own homes. The vast majority of the population lived in tied or social housing, ok many may have had dreams of owning their home but with the class divisions at that time, that was all it could be for the majority in those days, a dream, and that dream only really began to materialise as a reality in the period from 1950 to 1960.


Porkie_Pie Report 12 Apr 2013 09:57

Aspired to own their own property

Just because most didn't doesn't mean they never aspired too

People think that the mining villages where decimated under the conservatives yet labour closed more pits and even today we still have a coal mining industry

people say that these closures led to displaced communities, "Displaced communities" have existed through out history, My own family/ancestors had to move for work several times in the 18th and 19th century to and from places like Ebbw vale, Suffolk, Derbyshire, Durham, norfolk and Yorkshire,

Part of the resentment today over the Thatcher years is due to people not doing what their ancestors have done in the past which is quote; (Get on their bikes) as our ancestors did, I was born in Yorkshire but have lived in several counties and abroad in my life time in order to find work.

What the government is attempting to do now with the reduction in benefits to under occupancy is probably our only option until such time as the country can afford to build more social housing and as i said earlier it would help the low income families if government legislated for councils to set a fair rent-able value on private rented properties to stop landlords overcharging.

Aspiring to achieve something is what peoples dreams are made of, Without dreams we have nothing and will achieve nothing



+++DetEcTive+++ Report 12 Apr 2013 10:14

If there aren’t the funds for council/HA homes to be built, then private landlords have to fill the gap. The Council housing stock does have to be increased, but I’d be loathe to live in a country where the State is expected to provide for ‘all’ of a person’s needs. It takes away the need for aspiration.

Yes, the rent may be more than the cost of mortgage repayments; in many cases the private landlord has a mortgage on the property which has to be covered.
There are also expenses involved with being a landlord – void periods, gas safety checks, repairs, landlords insurance and possibly management fees (plus VAT!)

May be legislation could be brought in so that a rent is based on cost of mortgage payments (of the equivalent there of) plus a percentage to reflect the landlords expenses and interest if he had invested in equities or a high interest account.

Renting, especially private, does offer flexibility. One of ours sold up, went to the US but came back again. They now prefer to rent as

a) If he gets a better job somewhere else, they can up-sticks and move without the legal costs of buying/selling
b) They can rent a much nicer house than they can afford to buy.

Unless there is a specific reason to stay in an area such as caring for an elderly relative, then more people should be open to the idea of moving to were there is work.

With a stagnant housing market and negative equity, more home owners who have to move (jobs etc), or who have inherited their parents property are turning to renting and letting.
The changes to the charges in Council Tax on second homes has compounded this – if the property is empty prior to selling, the owners now have to pay the full Council Tax. This could be a year or more.


terryj Report 12 Apr 2013 10:36

there used to be legislation on rents it was called the fair rents act and many properties are still covered by rents set by it

it was repealed in 1989 guess who

there is now
the maximum fair rents order that still applies to controlled tenancies
another edit
found this e petition as you can see took off like a lead balloon