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

(194 Posts)
JazzAnnNonMouse Thu 17-Jan-13 09:15:57

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?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Jan-13 11:53:35

There would be the 'rich end of town' because corruption would dictate that the officials responsible for allocating all of this housing would start to favour those that can slip them a few quid to make sure they were at the top of the list....

GrimmaTheNome Thu 17-Jan-13 11:55:19

One of the main things wrong with the current housing situation is that the banks lent too much money, to people buying their own homes and for rental, so that the price of housing is out of line with incomes.

The OPs model is far too simplistic - there's far more to how much accommodation is worth than the number of bedrooms. There's lovely homes and nasty dumps, and don't forget location, location, location.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Jan-13 11:56:40

"Or they could build schools, shops etc by the currently 'bad' areas instead of knocking it all down "

Ever lived in the 'bad' part of a town? I have. The council planted an avenue of trees there once in an attempt to improve the environment for the residents. Within a week all the saplings were snapped in half.

Morloth Thu 17-Jan-13 12:02:51

So why don't you do that?

What happens when people start banding together to protect their patch? And they will.

Humans don't really want things to be fair, if we did they would be.

Morloth Thu 17-Jan-13 12:05:15

Also how is the government decided?

Abra1d Thu 17-Jan-13 12:06:14

Why would you want to give even more money to a government? They take quite enough from most of us as it is.

znaika Thu 17-Jan-13 12:06:35

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

SamSmalaidh Thu 17-Jan-13 12:12:12

I think the way to go would be a huge increase in social housing stock, so everyone who wanted one could have one.

Also, tighter regulation of private landlords - rent caps, independent rent panels to deal with increases, abolishing 6 month tenancies and making it much harder to evict tenants.

I would also make it impossible to claim housing benefit on a private rental. Tax payer's money should not be paying private mortgages!

If people wanted to buy a house, they are still free to do so.

I really believe that secure, decent, affordable and safe housing should be a basic right like education and healthcare. It's amazing that many feel it should remain a priviledge!

flurp Thu 17-Jan-13 12:25:51

I don't think the OPs suggestion would be workable but something needs to change wrt housing, particularly people's attitudes.
I live in such an expensive area that I could not ever afford to buy a 3 bed house and the cost to rent privately is often as much if not more than a mortgage. I was born here, as were all my family. DP and I both have good full time jobs and are not on benefits or tax credits or whatever. I have rented a HA house for 9 years because that is my only viable option. Its a nice house and luckily in a decent area.
I get fed up with people looking down on me or assuming that I must be on benefits to have a 'council house'.
I don't want a mortgage. Owning property has never appealed to me. What is wrong with paying a fair rent for the property you want to live in? Not an extortionate amount set by a greedy landlord. Rental prices should be capped to be reasonably affordable to those of us who can't/don't want to be on the property ladder.

JazzAnnNonMouse Thu 17-Jan-13 12:29:31

Sam I think I agree with you - my op was too simplistic and didn't take into account many things but the principle of everyone being able to live comfortably as a right is there.
I don't understand how some people think that housing is a privilege - a stable shelter is surely one of the most basic things we want in life?

MoodyDidIt Thu 17-Jan-13 12:37:26

interesting debate....i think it would be great but i am sure lots of other cleverer people would have very good reasons why it wouldn't work

Booyhoo Thu 17-Jan-13 12:39:49

i agree sam.

not sure if it has been mentioned but is more social housing on anyone's agenda? i mean anyone in power's agenda. or have they cut all that?

NotGoodNotBad Thu 17-Jan-13 12:40:29

Interesting thread OP.

We'd maybe have to knock down current housing and start again. Plus, plant trees etc. equally in all districts. Even then, most towns have some bits that are colder/wetter/windier - I wonder if that would affect desirability? People always think of something to get one up. And as others have mentioned, there's convenience of location, and availability of jobs. Would areas end up equal, or not?

As for communism not working, well I'm not too fond of capitalism either!

BegoniaBampot Thu 17-Jan-13 12:46:35

lived on a kibbutz. at 14, the kids got their own room and bathroom with the other young peple. as you got older you got a place to suit your needs. if you had more children they accomodated you. worked but they all chose to be there.

Bramshott Thu 17-Jan-13 12:47:24

I think the country would be great if everyone WHO WANTED TO had the opportunity to live in a HA/Council house - much like they did in the 1950s.

The key success of the 1950s 'Homes for Heroes' programme was that they were in EVERY community, not by and large in great estates or ghettos, just interspersed with 'normal' housing (which in those days was more likely to be rented or tied than owned).

MoodyDidIt Thu 17-Jan-13 12:48:18

deffo agree with bramshott

and also the posters who say a secure stable home shouldnt be a privilege - its a basic human need

DontmindifIdo Thu 17-Jan-13 12:52:24

Jazz - but again, the assumption that because the current situation doesn't work for some people that it doesn't work for the majority.

Some people are much better off - both financially and with options now than they would be with any changes that attempted to artificially control the market. Many of the people who'd be 'winners' under the current system would be 'losers' under any changes. (Losers not just in financial sence, but also in terms of losing control/options/security that they would happily pay for.)

rather than try to limit/artificially control the demand for housing, it would be better to try to change the supply. You take something from being 'rare' to being 'common' and prices fall. More choice of properties and lower prices would solve most of the problems.

Thisisaeuphemism Thu 17-Jan-13 12:56:27

Why would you want the state/gov to have more power?
That seems like madness to me.
The people in power have always acted in their self-interest. Why would you trust them on this?

flatpackhamster Thu 17-Jan-13 13:03:57


True communism has never actually been tried though - it's always been corrupt in some way as some people are more equal than others.

That is why 'true' communism can't succeed. It's a perfect system except when it's applied to the real world, which makes it a fricking disaster which kills millions.

I wasn't really thinking about it in a communist way actually although that's ideologically what I'd like.

If someone wrote "I'd think the Nazis were great" everyone would be furious, but for some bizarre reason it's 'acceptable' to some people to say that they'd like to live under a communist system. Why is that? What is it about brutal, totalitarian, oppressive murdering communism that so appeals to you?

^You could still decorate how you want, put your own kitchen in etc and aspire to have nicer stuff If that's what you want...
Just thinking about over crowding, homelessness etc.^

What about then if you could own property and people could rent out their properties but rent charge was was the same as ha/council rent? Everyone's rent is the same based on space. So a 2 bed house is always £ PCM so everyone's in a fair rent situation?

Imagine two houses, one close to a main line station, one not. The main line station allows easy access to the nearest major city and lots of jobs.

The value of these two houses is different because of their location, so why should the rents be identical? House A has easy access to jobs, house B doesn't.

The thing that could allow it to work is that everyone would be in the same boat including the government.
So if things were shit for you then they'd be shit for them too and maybe things would improve.
If things were good for those in power then it would mean things would be good for everyone as no one is above anyone else in that respect at least.

But that's not how it works in the real world. In the real world, government votes itself privileges that the rest of us can only dream of.

Look, when you look back in history, what do you see? You see power clawed away from the King and the aristocracy, and who is it clawed away by? Historically, wealthy merchants, and a burgeoning, property-owning middle class who gradually come in to power. And it's that independence of wealth, and the property that goes with it, which is a bastion against the tyranny of a dictatorship.

Yet you're proposing that we strip everyone of their property, and by extension their power and their ability to challenge a dictator.

Your solution to inequality is to make everyone equally unequal, except for the politicians and the civil servants who allocate housing.

Can you imagine the scale of the bribes that those civil servants who allocate housing will receive? They'll allocate themselves the best housing, take bribes from people for the second best and everyone who can't buy privilege will suffer.

Communism doesn't work. It never works. It doesn't work because it simply doesn't take account of basic human drives which have been programmed in to us for hundreds of thousands of years. The only way it can possibly work is in a system of unlimited resources, but as a tool for allocating scarce resources it is a disaster.


I find the knee jerk reactions to this question a little strange.

I find your classification of these reactions as 'knee jerk' a little strange. They are the healthy reaction of people opposed to an evil totalitarian dictatorship.

It does not necessarily mean communism.

That's exactly what it means.

People a very frightened of thinking in a slightly different way.

"Slightly different"?? Government controlling all land and housing is 'slightly different' to what we have now?

Just because all housing would be government owned, doesn't mean state sanctioned living. That's a logical fallacy presuming that one thing would automatically lead to another.

Well perhaps you'd like to give us some examples of a country where the government owns all land and property, and it isn't an oppressive, brutal dictatorship? I can't think of any.

piprabbit Thu 17-Jan-13 13:17:02

I don't know if it's a "British" thing, we aren't very good at accepting change for the good of the community.
Milton Keynes was designed as a marvellous group of small 'village' communties, mixed housing, access to facilities etc. etc. and everybody bitched about it. Forty years later it still wouldn't be on the top of most people's lists as somewhere they would choose to live.

cantspel Thu 17-Jan-13 13:21:55

We had social housing and it has been sold off but who bought it?

It wasn't some big company to sell on for profit. It was the people living it it at the time. People want to own their own home (que the one or or 2 coming forward to say they never want to own and love renting) and given the chance will buy.

The only thing stopping them is affordabliity and even with the current slump i dont see house prices dipping by 50% anytime soon in places people want to live. There is cheap housing in the uk but people cant buy and live in them if the work is not there.

Maybe it would just be better to improve the prospects in these areas so people could then move in and regenerate the whole area.

Floggingmolly Thu 17-Jan-13 13:37:14

a stable, secure home isn't a privilege, it's a basic human need
It's a human need, certainly. Which some people accept they'll have to provide for themselves, and others wait for it to be provided for them.

Booyhoo Thu 17-Jan-13 13:46:04

"The value of these two houses is different because of their location, so why should the rents be identical? House A has easy access to jobs, house B doesn't."

i agree. houses are worth different amounts to each prospectve owner/tenant.

for example my house is in a great location for families, especially those who dont drive as it is 5 minutes walk from all the shops, the primary school is right behind it, 2 secondary schools just up the hill opposite, play park accross the road, hospital a 2 minute car drive, brilliant youth club, afterschool club, leisure centre, sports clubs, gp's, dentists, opticians etc all within 5 minutes walk.

however if my house was on the outskirts of town and a non driving family wanted it they might only be prepared to pay £50 less per month rent to account for all the taxi/bus fares into town/work.

flatpackhamster Thu 17-Jan-13 13:53:37


Jazz - more council properties would have a downward pressure on the private rentals because there would be less demand on them.

I know I have already filled up this thread with verbeage but I wanted to deal with this point.

Your theory only applies if the size of the population in the UK is static. It isn't.

In the last 10 years we've had a net increase of 3 million people. 2 million Britons have left but 5 million migrants have come, 2/3 of them from Europe (overwhelmingly Eastern Europe). 90% of that population increase has been in London and the SE.

Next year Romanians and Bulgarians will be able to travel, live and work throughout the EU. I would expect another million+ people arriving on our doorstep.

How do you plan to address this? Every time you think you're on top of social housing, in floods another million migrants and you're back to square one.

You can only address a housing shortage if you control your borders and limit population growth and migration, and we don't do either.

bureni Thu 17-Jan-13 14:04:57

It makes no sense to let any more people into the country, London already has a higher population that Scotland, Northern Ireland and ROI combined.

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