petej + homeownership   106

The Attack on Public Housing
The attacks on Osamor, who is black, are undeniably racial but also carry the unpleasant subtext that people who live in social housing should not be MPs. Parliament is still broadly unrepresentative of British society: there are still far more men than women, the number of black and Asian MPs is still shockingly low, and the class make-up of practically every legislative body throughout the United Kingdom skews heavily middle class, with the number of MPs educated at Oxford and Cambridge an embarrassment. Hounding an MP for daring to remain in the council home she has dwelt in for thirty years highlights how few MPs come from more ordinary backgrounds.

Crow and Osamor were right to defend their living situations and to call for more people to be given secure tenures that help people escape the exorbitant rents that private landlords extract from tenants. Individual actions will do little to solve the housing crisis; but defending social housing as a political good, and arguing that housing should be a human right that offers the best start in life, rather than yet another source of private profit, is essential. People attack this position because it upsets the status quo — because it forces the public discourse to acknowledge that our housing system is rigged, and tenants need both more rights and a second national house-building program.
UK  housing  socialHousing  OsamorKate  CrowBob  Thatcherism  rightToBuy  homeOwnership  tenancies  community  construction  policy  dctagged  dc:creator=FosterDawn 
december 2018 by petej
The dream of owning your own home is over. Let’s improve renting | Jonn Elledge | Opinion | The Guardian
"In some ways the buy-to-let bubble is merely a more virulent form of a condition that’s afflicted our national obsession with home ownership from the beginning. The main reason buying your own home makes you richer is because it increases in value: somebody will pay more for it tomorrow than you can today. In other words, rising house prices have always been a socially acceptable way of allowing the old to rob from the young. In an economy in which inflation has been held down, that would always eventually prove unsustainable."
UK  housing  property  homeOwnership  crisis  rents  renting  landlords  buyToLet 
august 2016 by petej
Does the UK really need 'wealth creators' and 'hardworking people'? | openDemocracy
"But there are no guarantees. The final cataclysmic moment of destruction may never arrive – as Walter Benjamin put it: “That things ‘just go on’ is the catastrophe. It is not that which is approaching but that which is.” But the first step in facing up to that catastrophe is to recognise it for what it is, with no illusions. Because it is not the radical left who are “unrealistic”. Rather it is the social democrats who refuse to acknowledge what is staring them in the face, who continue to ignore history, insisting instead that moral appeals can bring about a return to a “fairer” capitalism that never really existed."
politics  economics  ideology  work  labour  capitalism  postFordism  post-industrialism  services  globalisation  bullshitJobs  identity  alienation  flexibility  precarity  property  homeOwnership  rightToBuy  housing  UK  economy 
august 2015 by petej
Is Foxtons the estate agent London deserves? | Andy Beckett | Business | The Guardian
"The swaggering success of Foxtons is partly a product of the double standards many of us have about property: complaining and worrying about the cost of it, while wanting to make as much as possible from it ourselves. The company is also a reflection of the modern British economy: short-term in its priorities, sometimes vibrant, London-dominated, property-skewed, socially divisive. The estate agent’s fortunes have become symbolic. Last month, the day the Conservative general election victory was announced, and with it the demise of Labour’s plans to increase taxes on properties worth more than £2m, it was widely noted by despairing leftwingers, as well as excited business reporters, that the Foxtons share price had leapt 12%."
UK  housing  property  markets  crisis  prices  estateAgents  Foxtons  Brixton  London  gentrification  competition  business  homeOwnership  hypocrisy  dctagged  dc:creator=BeckettAndy 
june 2015 by petej
Jenny Morris: A housing policy question for all politicians
"There has been a fundamental shift of expenditure from capital investment in housing (building new homes) to revenue expenditure in the form of housing benefit (propping up higher rents in social housing and subsidising the profits of private landlords). The latest manifestation of this shift is the introduction of ‘affordable rents’ for new housing association and council tenancies, set at a maximum of 80% of market rents and acknowledged by government as costing more in the long term because of the resulting increase in housing benefit expenditure.

The shift from capital investment to subsidising high rents has accelerated in the last five years, reflected in the dramatic reduction in the numbers of social housing properties built: in 2009-10, there was a total of 39,492 housing starts of properties to be let at social rent levels; by 2013-14, this had fallen to 3,961. Even including housing to be let at ‘affordable rent’ levels and ‘affordable’ home ownership there had been a 22% reduction over this period.

The Coalition government has decried the increase in housing benefit, focussing on the ‘failure’ of individuals to find a job or work hard enough to get themselves ‘off benefits’. In reality, it is government policy which has created the need to subsidise rents, but the focus on individuals suits the Conservative Party’s desire to bring about a residualisation of collective provision (i.e. the welfare state) until it only caters for a small stigmatised minority."
UK  property  housing  homeOwnership  rightToBuy  crisis  affordability  policy  Thatcherism  ToryParty  socialHousing  rents 
april 2015 by petej
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