Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/643/10445
Government slams door shut on social housing
SPENDING CUTS and proposals to end security for council tenants would mean the end of social housing as it has been known in Britain.
At a time when house building is at its lowest peacetime level since the 1920s the government's plan is to cut spending on new social housing by over 50% and charge higher rents for what social housing is built - tenants would pay 80%-90% of the market rate.
Social housing construction will grind to a halt; for example the National Housing Federation (NHF) says that after currently planned projects are completed only 243 new affordable homes will be built across London and the south east by 2015.
The NHF commented: "Brutal cuts of 50% to the housing budget would effectively shut the door on an entire generation which would be left with little hope of ever being allocated a social home. Over 36,000 jobs would also be lost from the construction industry every year and cost the economy £6.5 billion a year in lost activity - if cuts on this scale were introduced.
"The government said it was committed to social housing and to protecting the most vulnerable. This can only be interpreted as a blatant betrayal of those promises and a kick in the teeth to millions of people stuck on waiting lists."
Before the election the Tories had pledged not to attack security for council tenants. Quite accurately, they pointed out that it was a New Labour minister that had raised the idea.
In an interview with Inside Housing (30 April 2010), Tory prime minister David Cameron said that it was "simply untrue" that they would attack security or put up rents and assured the interviewer that the "compassionate Conservative Party" believes in the importance of social housing "and the security it provides".
In fact social housing will be reduced to temporary emergency accommodation and tenants who get a better job will be pushed into insecure private rented housing.
In The Socialist 20 October 2010:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reviews