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To wonder what the country would be like of we all live in ha/council houses

(194 Posts)

And no one owned property? If everyone lived in a space that was good for them and their family and we all paid the same based on space ie 1 bedroom = PCM 2 bedroom = a bit more PCM.
This would mean that no one would get the rough end of the deal as mps would also be in the same situation.
Fair rent for everyone, money constantly going to the government.
I wonder if it'd encourage people to have more children or prohibit them from wanting more I they had to move to allow for another bedroom but then had to pay more?
Probably flawed massively somehow but I don't see why it couldn't work?

flatpackhamster Thu 24-Jan-13 08:30:50

DontmindifIdo

Agree with badlad that lack of affordable housing is a problem, but there's lots of ways that the prices of housing and rents could be reduced while maintaining property rights for everyone else, it's just their property would be worth less.

raising interest rates would probably take a lot off house prices. Building a large number of properties (both council and private) therefore increasing the supply of properties, greatly limiting immigration to reduce the competition at the bottom end of the property rental market, would all have a downward pressure on houseprices and rental prices. Question is, would any of these things be better for the country as a whole, not just better for the small minority of people at the bottom of the housing /rental 'ladder' who are struggling.

Raising interest rates during the credit bubble would have helped, but we would have to be quite careful now. I do think they need to go up though.

However any discussion of the housing shortage has to be carried out in the context of the issue of mass immigration, which OP is unwilling to do, for reasons which remain opaque. How can you manage housing without managing your population?

DontmindifIdo Thu 24-Jan-13 08:12:28

Agree with badlad that lack of affordable housing is a problem, but there's lots of ways that the prices of housing and rents could be reduced while maintaining property rights for everyone else, it's just their property would be worth less.

raising interest rates would probably take a lot off house prices. Building a large number of properties (both council and private) therefore increasing the supply of properties, greatly limiting immigration to reduce the competition at the bottom end of the property rental market, would all have a downward pressure on houseprices and rental prices. Question is, would any of these things be better for the country as a whole, not just better for the small minority of people at the bottom of the housing /rental 'ladder' who are struggling.

And Morlth is right, the idea of only one landlord for the whole country, deciding who is and who isn't entitled to property, the size and scale of property is really very worrying. It wouldn't be down to "can you pay and do you want it?" as the current system is, but based on value judgements made by a civil service about who is entitled and more worthy of it. There's a house for sale at the end of our road for £600k (tis gorgeous), anyone - regardless of personal history, criminal record, education levels, family size, political preference, religious belief, social standing, amount of charity work done or socially usefulness of job can buy it if they've got/can borrow £600k. It's bugger all to do with the rest of us in the street or the government or the rest of society. It's a private transaction based purely on who can pay at the right time. I prefer that the the alternative.

Morloth Thu 24-Jan-13 07:27:42

Do you like the current Government in the UK OP? You voted Tory? Or do you hate them?

Because if your plan were to be followed you would have to be OK with the Tory party deciding who gets what and who pays what and where people can live and when they have to move.

Not just as Landlords (i.e. taking rent), but actually controlling people's movements.

BadLad Thu 24-Jan-13 03:34:15

I hate it that people have just jumped on calling this communisn as a blamket response

People calling it communism has been very convenient for the OP. Look at flatpackhamster's response to the OP's suggestion that she would give up her house if someone else would benefit more from it. The OP ignored the points in it and instead jumped only on the fact that flatpackhamster had called it communism.

Affordable housing should be available for people on low to medium incomes.

I don't think anyone would disagree that the lack of affordable housing is a problem, and it is well worth discussing. It's just that the discussion isn't worth taking seriously when it includes farted out soundbites like the government controlling all housing.

DontmindifIdo Wed 23-Jan-13 11:57:48

As I said upthread about the state not being the most efficient at managing problems than private individuals/private businesses, how about this thread as an example - the OP is stuck because she's a council tenant and has to go through someone logging calls, waiting for the approved repair team to come out and stuck with not heating in this weather.

When our boiler broke, we did have to sort it ourselves, but we had the freedom of calling round as many different firms as we could until we found someone who could work within our time frame. It's not just the security of the property itself that's appealing to own rather than rent, but also the security of being in control of what happens in that space. Yes we had to pay fo the repair ourselves, it didn't just come out of our mortgage payment, and eventually we'll have to replace our boiler, but the fact that in little over 15 years time we'll own our house outright and have no mortgage or rent to pay (and fully expect to live in that house for another 20years at least after that) makes up for having to pay the running costs now.

Sinister - youve hit the nail on the head smile

theodorakisses Wed 23-Jan-13 08:33:35

Expensive, imagine all the inheritance taxes and capital gains tax that would not be available to pay for the maintenance.

SinisterBuggyMonth Wed 23-Jan-13 00:55:20

I grew up on a council estate in the 80's. Most of my neighbours worked, there was a good mix of families, single parents and pensioners, it was a new estate but had a friendly atmosphere. I think this is close to the ideal is thinking of.
People started buying there houses and buildin f off fences and extensions. Then selling and moving on. Nice kids stopped playing out on the streets, the local shop shut down. its now mostly private, buy to let or HA, when the older HA tennants died the houses were let to people who dont work and have antisocial behaviour problems and are due to the huge lack of social housing. The estate still looks nice but there is nothing of the community spirit it started with.

I hate it that people have just jumped on calling this communisn as a blamket response. As if capitalism is the only answer. In regards to housing capitalism has done huge damage to this country and future generations, and nothing is being done to reverse it. Affordable housing is currently only availabe to those in severe need, the vulnerable. Affordable housing should be available for people on low to medium incomes.

BadLad Tue 22-Jan-13 23:57:19

There's nothing wrong with "wondering what the country would be like if nobody owned property" and the government controlled all housing, as the OP asks. In the same way, having Christmas every day sounds like fun until you give a second's thought to it and realise that it is totally unworkable. So it's fine to wonder about these extremely awful ideas, as long as nobody takes the idea remotely seriously.

flatpackhamster Tue 22-Jan-13 11:29:00

cory

Don't you think there is plenty of evidence that human beings are capable of perceiving our village as at least the size of our own country? Think of the sacrifices people went through during the last war.

This is often what the 'hand over all your liberties' argument comes down to. It happened during the war, so it can happen again.

The reason it happened during the last war is that there was an outside aggressor. Humans are inherently tribal. Give country A an outside threat and they'll work together to defeat it, as long as that threat exists, then they'll start arguing with each other again.

I've said before that the only way you'd get humanity working together is to have an alien invasion.

If people could be convinced that social and environmental stability are crucial to the survival of their country, then might not that have a similar effect?

You have to provide a threat to achieve it. Orwell's "1984" has the fake war, for example. In modern times, we're threatened with 'climate change' by ecomentalist movements and big business to force us to change our ways.

Isn't that how the democratic welfare societies have actually been run over the last 60 odd years?

I'm not even sure what a democratic welfare society is. Is it a country? Is it a political system? An economic one?

Morloth Mon 21-Jan-13 21:01:38

Once again, what are you personally doing going to do? Not the government, not everyone else you?

If the answer is talk then you are munching on the cake with the rest of us.

Do something yourself instead of expecting the government to sort everything out.

You know that great big lump of poor people you are worried about? I would place a large bet that many of them would fight this sort of thing just as hard. Because it is part of human nature to want to 'win', if there is no competition there can be no win. As you say they are people to and as liable to selfishness and corruption just the same as you and I.

If people can't look after themselves, then absolutely society should provide for them, no question, no hesitation, not baseline provisions either, we should look after each other. What we shouldn't do is hand over a basic human need I.e. shelter to some all powerful 'government'. If that thought doesn't fill you with dread then I suggest you hit the history books and have a look at what happens when the 'government' takes control of peoples day to day lives.

If you think the current arrangements are inadequate then DO something.

DontmindifIdo Mon 21-Jan-13 14:38:21

'let them eat cake' - no more "OK, well if you can't afford bread yourself then via our taxes we'll provide basic bread for you, but that doesn't mean we should ban all cake production for other people who can afford it"

'let them eat cake'

Morloth Mon 21-Jan-13 12:42:59

I don't suggest anything, the current arrangement suits me fine.

You make a good point cloud.
Community projects could also allow people to learn new skills on the job - might make them employable/want to be employed.
I really liked the grand designs special - I thought it really worked but I havnt seen anything like that happening anywhere?

CloudsAndTrees Mon 21-Jan-13 09:16:53

Does everyone deserve the same though? Because 'everyone' includes rapists, child abusers, violent thieves, as well as people who just don't give a shit about anyone else and wouldn't be prepared to do a days work if they could have the same standard of living thanks to other people's work.

I don't believe that everyone does deserve the same. They deserve 'enough', but not the same.

I wouldn't give up ownership so that everyone could be housed, and that's not because I'm selfish, it's because I already contribute time and money for the greater good in the form of voluntary work, taxes and financial charitable donations. I might have the same security if housing was distributed in the way you are suggesting, but what about everything else you would be taking away? Like a sense of achievement, pride, the freedom to have a property that best suits me, my work, and my family? Don't get me wrong, my owned house is tiny and I think my family would be much better off with a bigger one, but actually, I don't want a bigger one that isn't our own. If the government was going to give me a home, then I'd be entirely dependant on them. I would have nothing to sell if DHs work took us to another country. That would leave us less secure than we already are.

I agree that more community projects would be good, for more reasons than just nice housing for everyone. But in a free country I expect the right to be able to choose the cause I help for myself. It works better that way because if people are working towards something that actually care about, their work is likely to be more efficient and more productive.

cory Mon 21-Jan-13 09:11:45

Tallalime Mon 21-Jan-13 01:09:38
"I am always a little confused by the notion that 'humanity' is linked to selflessness or an ability to care about the masses more than ourselves as individuals or as small communities.

Historically or geographically speaking I can't really think of any examples of a decent sized population that operated/operates with 'for the good of the many' in mind. Of course there are individuals or movements that do, but people? People are like any other animal when it comes down to our base nature. We want to 'survive' ourselves, our family, our 'village'... whatever. If that means taking resources from someone else and leaving them worse of, so be it."

Don't you think there is plenty of evidence that human beings are capable of perceiving our village as at least the size of our own country? Think of the sacrifices people went through during the last war. If people could be convinced that social and environmental stability are crucial to the survival of their country, then might not that have a similar effect? Isn't that how the democratic welfare societies have actually been run over the last 60 odd years?

I really like how the Swedish system sounds - why do think it wouldn't work here?

That's true morloth but it might work for more people than the current?

What would you suggest instead?

cory Mon 21-Jan-13 09:08:26

The way the Swedish housing market works is that a great deal of property is owned by housing associations, some council managed, some cooperative and some private. Some flats are rent only, some are mixed rent and buy (so you buy a share in the flat, but then pay an annual rent). Rents are fixed in advance so you can't suddenly be thrown out to make room for a higher paying tenant. Noone has bulldozed anyone out with guns and it's not going to happen either. It is not a communist scheme and it is not based on coercion.

What it does rely on, though, is a sufficiently high demand. Because the blocks of flats tend to be well built and fairly comfortable and there is little status attached to the concept of being a home owner, there are enough customers to make it worth running these housing associations.

When I was a student in Sweden, the head of my department and all the professors lived in flats: one lecturer owned a house but that was not because his status or pay were higher but because he liked DIY.

It is difficult to see how such a change of attitude could come about in this country.

Morloth Mon 21-Jan-13 09:01:34

People can make any private arrangements they want.

The problem is that these sorts of ideas grow into 'forcing people out of their homes, bulldozing houses or starting a totalitarian regime!'

The thing about freedom is that some times it means freedom to starve and die.

It wouldn't be guaranteed security though, it would be state controlled, the state is people and people take kick backs and people put themselves first - it wouldn't work any better than the current model.

*said

I see faceless mass as someone else had by in a negative way so I was just using the same term but my own take ie that the mass are also people and deserve just as much as you.

I guess I decline myself as in the middle as we own our house therefore have security but in terms of monitory worth dh is currently a student engineer so we are actually classes as on the poverty line.
We do what we can to help others, unfortunately it's more to do with recycling and passing on dds clothes than cash st the moment but when dh qualifies and gets a better wage we will be able to up our contribution.

I've already said that I don't know the answers and that I'm thinking out loud, that's why I didn't say 'the country should do this' but 'I wonder what would happen if'.
This was never about forcing people out of their homes, bulldozing houses or starting a totalitarian regime!
I am surprised though that even if you were guaranteed the same security you have with ownership you wouldn't give up owning so that everyone else could be housed.
It's true though that everyone is an individual - perhaps more community projects would be good - there was a special grand designs where a group of people were funded to build houses - those houses were then theirs until they died I believe - They paid rent but much reduced and the ha have (eventually) more housing in the area. This seemed like a good idea if people wanted to do it. It would be good if more opportunities like this around as options IMO. What do you think of these schemes?

lisianthus Mon 21-Jan-13 07:51:15

I expect you probably meant it as an offhand description, but "faceless masses" does key into my impression that you are seeing people as an amorphous grey lump who must have things handed down from on high for their Own Good. It's the one-size-fits-all thing again. All these people are individuals and different. They want many different things, specific to their own likes and circumstances.

I think Tony and Dave have done enough damage to our Magna Carta rights recently without furthering it by taking away property rights from people.

Something else that occurs to me is that it is kind of annoying when you talk about people who don't want to lose their homes for the Greater Good as "selfish". If they were resisting having their homes taken away because the government wanted to build an airport or a motorway, or they were simply protesting the effect of another runway at Heathrow, say, on their quality of life, would you still call them selfish? The facilities would benefit and be used by far more people than the people who were protesting about them.

Morloth Mon 21-Jan-13 05:17:32

So what are you actually going to do?

It is easy to talk, if you really actually cared you would be doing something.

As I said, nothing will actually happen until enough people are personally affected.

It is human nature, you are as selfish as the rest of us, if you weren't you would be actively sharing your personal wealth and living on the poverty line in order to support as many people as you could.

I am not saying you are doing anything wrong by the way, but it is a bit rich to want everyone else to hand over their stuff whilst you are continuing to benefit just as they are. Why don't you get started on a fairer distribution of wealth? Or does seeing your children fed and clothed and housed seem more important? Just like it does to everyone else on the planet.

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