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to think that the government just needs to build masses of new council housing to solve the housing crisis

(104 Posts)
fakenamefornow Wed 22-Jul-15 13:28:14

In the past those who could afford to buy a house did and those who couldn't afford to buy a house got council housing, either way people had a secure home to live their life and raise a family. Now it is much more difficult for young people to access either of these options, instead they live in private rented, paying a fortune and with no security.

PWC said recently that in 10 years time 40% of households will be in private rented. What is going to happen when these people retire? In the past home owners will have paid off their mortgages and live off their pensions, no ongoing housing costs for the state to pick up. Council tenants would still have rent to pay in retirement so would receive HB to do so, this money would be going back into the pocket of the council, so effectively, no ongoing cost for the state to pick up. Private renters are imo unlikely to have pensions big enough to pay rent on a house so will receive HB, this will go to private LL at massive cost to the state.

I heard that the Gov plans to make public institutions sell of land for housebuilding to private companies. Why don't they just build the housing themselves and use it for social housing thereby dodging the bullet coming our way and helping out our young people now. Social housing used to be for everyone, now it seems it's just for those up shit creek.

I know, I know very little about economics, I don't pretend I do so please don't be rude about my lack of knowledge, just explain why building lots of social housing isn't the best plan. The only reason I can see for the Gov not building social housing is ideology, but I think pursuing that ideology is just to expensive in the long run.

totallybewildered Wed 22-Jul-15 13:30:45

Because it would cost billions, and the country doesn't have it.

NoArmaniNoPunani Wed 22-Jul-15 13:35:02

This government don't want social housing. They want to sell off what remains.

Spartans Wed 22-Jul-15 13:36:18

It would cost a fortune that the country doesn't have.

Aside from that I don't think many people want to go back to 'council estates'.

I see on here, and hear in RL people feeling ghetto-ised living in the HA sections of new build estates. Entire estates like this will only make it worse.

permenantrecord Wed 22-Jul-15 13:36:28

The need to build more social housing and allocate responsible (as in maintaining communities)

They need to cap private rents so hb isn't just lining the pockets of landlords and so people can afford what they need. Renter also need better rights.

They need to temporarily halt the right to buy scheme and monitor it closely and impose restrictions so that it doesn't have such a colossal effect on the housing market again. Any money made from it in future should go straight back into social housing.

There's should be restrictions on buy to let mortgages and moe help for first time buyers.

permenantrecord Wed 22-Jul-15 13:37:46

Should add, that's all wishful thinking....

UrethraFranklin1 Wed 22-Jul-15 13:38:06

Just build loads of council houses! Great idea, nobody ever considered that. Now if you could just tell us where to put them and who is going to pay the billions of pounds needed, someone will get right on it.

You dont think rent controls and tighter rules on private renting might be a bit cheaper and simpler, do you?

TheSultanofPing Wed 22-Jul-15 13:40:24


I think that the selling off of Council housing is one of the worst Government policies ever.
It is the main reason we are in this mess today, with a chronic shortage of affordable housing and people having to rely on housing benefit to pay their sky high rent.

achieve15 Wed 22-Jul-15 13:44:31

I don't think you are being unreasonable but I feel you might be lacking in information.

previous governments have done nothing to protect social housing stock, it isn't just this one to blame. they want everything to go private. ("they" = Establishment)

Meanwhile England becomes a more and more desirable place for overseas people to live. Add to that our own population growth and you quickly have a situation where there's not enough housing, not just social housing.

But social housing blocks have been sold off en masse, which is insanity. "build more" is a bit of a red herring, they shoudl never have sold off what they did sell off.

if someone with good intentions took over on housing, the first thing to do would be stop the sale of social housing and stop the constant sale of every plot of land to a private developer (I know this happens in exchange for a percentage of "affordable" homes but the price of "affordable" is a joke in London at least).

there are office blocks, empty shops etc which can be converted, they did that in my area but all the flats were sold off plan in other countries. local residents didn't even get a look in.

successive governments seem to want to turn London into Monte Carlo, though I can't comment on the rest of the country. But when they say "we will build more" I shudder, because they wouldn't have had to if the approach had been different in the first place.

I also think there is a ticking time bomb with so many renters who won't be able to pay rent when they retire because their rent costs so much they can't save. There is going to be trouble but I think it will be about 40 years from now so current politicians won't deal with it.

AnyoneForTennis Wed 22-Jul-15 13:49:31

You can't just whack up loads of housing without adhering to guidelines! Every few hundred houses built will legally require builders to provide extra schooling/ roads/place of worship/leisure facilities/parking.... All new builds require these taken into the equation

Also, op you say young people? So you propose each young person gets a council/ha house then?

Lurkedforever1 Wed 22-Jul-15 13:50:02

Yanbu. It would slash the welfare bill in almost every area, and even for those already above any welfare help would have more money to spend thus boosting the economy, and money to save and prevent welfare use in future at pension age. Would also reduce strain on mh services, financial worries or threat of homelessness play a large part in many mh problems. Plus it would also help bring back the sense of community and therefore practical support that people used to have, again reducing the strain on services.
Only drawback is house prices would drop. Compared to the above benefits I think the unfairness to those that thought they'd made a profit is negligible. And for those who've only recently bought/ mortgaged and stand to actually lose, rather than just not profit, prices would drop slow enough they'd have as much chance of breaking even as they do now.
I'd pay for it by cutting all the shit that shouldn't be going on anyway ( tax evasion, bankers bonuses, mp expenses etc) and if necessary ignore the deficit because long term the savings and economy boost would actually solve it quicker than the current bollocks

YouTheCat Wed 22-Jul-15 13:53:10

Think of all the jobs it would create.

achieve15 Wed 22-Jul-15 13:57:02

lurked - I am a homeowner and many homeowners think prices need to drop. I don't see it as a drawback if they do.

fakenamefornow Wed 22-Jul-15 13:57:19

You dont think rent controls and tighter rules on private renting might be a bit cheaper and simpler, do you?

No I don't, not long term.

As for were the money to build comes from, they could borrow it, it is investment after all, councils will be getting rent from the houses they build. Looking back at the past saying 'we shouldn't have done this, we should have done that' while I completely agree doesn't change anything now, we are where we are.

I didn't say I thought it would be easy to just build council houses but it's still the only long term solution I can see. And council estates never used to be ghettos, they used to be for the working population, it's seems it's only when you needed very serious problems to get one that they became ghettos. Happy to be corrected though.

Pootles2010 Wed 22-Jul-15 14:00:27

The reason they sold them off is because they don't want to maintain them. Think of cost of maintaining your own, single house, now times that by however many thousands there used to be.

Thatcher came up with this as a win-win - people loved her for it (still do) because they got to become home owners, government wins because it doesn't have to pay to maintain all these properties. No way will any government ever go back to how it used to be.

fakenamefornow Wed 22-Jul-15 14:07:05

Or they could delay HS2 and use that money, the country needs housing more than it needs a train line IMO.

achieve15 Wed 22-Jul-15 14:10:00

but the definition of "maintenance" is highly questionable. some of the blocks that have been sold off in my area were sold because they said they were too expensive to maintain, whereas really they wanted to do unnecessary work e.g. new kitchens and bathrooms, rewiring that was causing no problems...really they just wanted to pocket the money from the private developers.

Lurkedforever1 Wed 22-Jul-15 14:13:15

achieve I know I just didn't want to come across as though I meant 'screw the homeowners, they can suck it up en masse if their 10yrs of scrimping to get a deposit and high mortgage payments leaves them owing the bank'

achieve15 Wed 22-Jul-15 14:21:41

Lurked, oh I see. I wouldn't have read it that way. tbh I don't get why homeowners are excited about prices going up if they can only realise the value in cash by moving somewhere cheaper or downsizing..or releasing equity.

but realistically I can't afford to upgrade and neither can many others. Plus I know people who won't move because the extra money for the extra square footage isn't worth it. None of us could afford to buy our homes now.

wafflyversatile Wed 22-Jul-15 14:21:49

It would be an investment in the future that would save the govt money. This govt doesn't care about that. It is only interested in transferring public assets to private hands so a small number of people can profit from them.

Not that Labour are any better.

Notasinglefuckwasgiven Wed 22-Jul-15 14:29:30

Once everyone owns their home, we all have something the government can sell off to pay for us when we need long term care....Paranoid? Not really. I've seen it happen to several elderly relatives and friends relatives. Most of which bought during Right to Buy first time round. Still ended up leaving nothing for their families.

UrethraFranklin1 Wed 22-Jul-15 14:48:21

Whats wrong with that? You think they should keep valuable houses, get hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of free care, and then have their houses sold off to benefit their offspring? Even though they were bought from public housing stock at a massive discount?
How on earth is that fair?

BreakingDad77 Wed 22-Jul-15 14:59:30

The thing is its a mess and dont see how it can easily be unraveled.

If say build a house for 100k (which has been proved by all the architectural competitions), they say you should spend 1% of value on maintenance each year, so paying about £450 a month housing benefit gives £5,400 a year take off grand for maintenance so after 20 or something years the council have 'bought' the house and the rent money is then being recycled rather than going into private pockets every year?

Do we need 30-50 yr mortgages so that people can buy houses?

More control of empty properties, compulsory rentals at set governmental rates, this might break the buy to let market though, what do people think is more important?

achieve15 Wed 22-Jul-15 15:13:03

Breakingdad "they say you should spend 1% of value on maintenance each year"

who is they? Crumbs, if London flat owners like myself were spending 1% of value on maintenance per year we'd have gone bankrupt by now. I look after my home but it sure doesn't cost me that. My parents live in a house (not in London) and they don't pay that either. I wonder what is included in maintenance in that calculation?

Notasinglefuckwasgiven Wed 22-Jul-15 15:20:00

It should be explained at the time to people. It gives them the ability to plan. They're being sold the dream of homeownership and leaving for the kids. I'm fine with it. I just don't believe ALL the small print is being emphasised. Not everyone is clued up or that forward thinking.

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