Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/659/11255

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 February 2011

Housing - no trust in private investors

THE NATIONAL conference of Labour councillors will discuss housing policy on 5 March. This is at a time when council services are being decimated, benefits slashed and policy changes introduced that would mean the end of social housing in Britain. The stakes are high, what will Labour councillors' response be?

Paul Kershaw

In a move that points to the future that the Tories have in mind, giant house-builder, Barratt, announced plans to move into private rented housing; the boss says he is thinking in terms of 1,000 homes a year in London. This announcement follows a deal last September between the Homes and Community Agency (HCA) - a government body - and Berkeley Homes which created a private rental fund as part of the agency's private sector initiative.

The HCA is investing 45.6 million in this scheme. A recent report jointly published by the British Property Foundation and London Councils suggests that institutions are poised to invest up to 1 billion each year in the private rented sector and expect to get an 8%-10% return.

Councils would help with discounted land, funding initial rent costs and by brokering land deals - no mention of a fee for this. Would private investors go to a private landowner and expect them to hand over discounted land and to fund brokering and rents?

At a time when proposals for spending more on social housing are "off the agenda", you might think Labour councillors would be absolutely against the state propping up the 'for profit' sector. But in fact the report's forward is signed by a Labour mayor, Steve Bullock from Lewisham.

It says the public sector has entered a new era with lower government spending for house-building. It notes that high prices and stringent mortgage conditions make it difficult for people to buy. But the way forward apparently is giving handouts to the private house-builders.

Government plans would mean an end to social housing, with new housing built by housing associations subsidised by charging rents set at 80% of the local market rent, and the introduction of short term tenancies for new tenants. But meanwhile Labour councils are busy rescuing the private house builders with taxpayers' money.

Instead of supporting the profit agenda, councillors could provide a focus for opposition to the destruction of social housing and the welfare state by refusing to pass on cuts and by setting needs budgets. Instead they act as standard bearers for the coalition's housing policy.


Government's latest attacks on social housing

THE GOVERNMENT'S u-turn over the plan to cut housing benefit for the longer term unemployed shows that they can be susceptible to pressure. However, the plans are still a disaster for the poor, or anyone who might lose their job over the next few years.

Much attention has so far focussed on the plight of tenants of private landlords who rely on support to cover high rents. But the plan is to make even bigger "cost savings" from council and housing association tenants.

A new Department for Work and Pensions "impact assessment" gives a glimpse of the real effect of these changes for people in social housing. The report says most tenants only "under-occupy" by one bedroom, and will therefore lose around 11 a week in 2013/14, when the change comes into play.

People with two or more bedrooms that they do not sleep in will lose an average of 20 a week, the assessment says.

The numbers affected varies around the country; around 46% of social tenants in North-east England will see their housing benefit cut by around 12 a week.

In London high levels of overcrowding mean that only around 19% will lose, which still represents a lot of hardship. The National Housing Federation believes that almost 700,000 people will effectively be forced out of their home.

Councils should pledge not to evict tenants adversely affected by these changes. Unions also need to factor in the impact of the changes on pay claims.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 23 February 2011:


Anti-cuts campaign

Public services: Not For Sale!


International socialist news and analysis

Region-wide revolution of the Arab people


Socialist Party youth and students

Hands off our future!

March for Jobs October 2011

Youth unemployment: No return to the 1930s!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Welfare Bill - Tories launch assault on the vulnerable

Lewisham by-election: back the socialist alternative

Manchester council's special pleading petition

Fast News


Socialist Party feature

Opposing all cuts: Thousands march across England and Wales


Housing crisis

Housing - no trust in private investors


Education

Victory for Huddersfield anti-academy campaign

Scotland: defending teachers' jobs

Balham: NUT strike against academies


Socialist Party workplace news

Support the Remploy workers

Council workers face pay freeze

Defend victimised union reps


 

Home   |   The Socialist 23 February 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Housing:

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleNo more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

triangleHousing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

triangleEast London summit fails to address housing crisis

triangleProtest to pressure Labour to scrap Haringey redevelopment plans

Labour:

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleTories torn - bin them now

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

State:

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

triangleRussia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangleShocking insight into Isis

London:

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2