petej + housing   1058

'A dizzying maze': how the UK immigration system is geared to reject | UK news | The Guardian
We like to tell ourselves a very particular version of the UK’s past – one in which we have held the door open to people fleeing conflict and persecution, and welcomed others from all over the world. Whenever the brutal realities of this country’s asylum system make newspaper headlines, the Home Office response almost always includes some variation of “The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need it.” But while there are tales of a warm reception for some, and people have made a life for themselves in this country, there are at least as many – if not more – stories of doors slammed shut in people’s faces and faceless walls of bureaucracy confronting those who arrive. This has been the case for decades.
UK  immigration  asylum  legal  legalAid  costs  bureaucracy  poverty  hostileEnvironment  cuts  housing  outsourcing  G4S  Serco  detention  deportation  complexity  migration  migrants  refugees  dctagged  dc:creator=GoodfellowMaya 
15 days ago by petej
The housing crisis is at the heart of our national nervous breakdown | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
As things stand, the future seems to fall between this model of precarious property ownership and a top end reserved for a tiny urban aristocracy, with a growing number of people clinging on in a private-rented sector which is forecast to soon contain one in four households, and is often a byword for negligent landlords. And what is the response of people in power? As evidenced by madcap plans to extend the right-to-buy concept to housing association homes, the Conservative party is still attached to the very ideas that led us into this mess, and lost for words about anything more relevant: aside from a mention of building standards, the recent Queen’s speech made no mention of housing at all.

By contrast, looking at Labour’s policy on housing gives you the sense of people prepared to think ambitiously. Leaving aside such gimmicky ideas as John McDonnell’s suggestion that right to buy should be introduced to the private rented sector, the party wants “the biggest council housebuilding programme in 30 years”, and an annual 100,000 “genuinely affordable homes” to be built, a figure this year’s party conference pushed beyond 150,000. There is also a pledge to “remove the ‘viability loophole’, which allows developers to dodge affordable housing obligations”. By implication, at the centre of this is an inescapable point: that if we built the houses we needed, the sense of a population often terrified of the future and anxiously hanging on to whatever they have would at last recede.
UK  housing  crisis  councilHousing  rightToBuy  landlords  rents  overcrowding  affordability  homeOwnership  prices  construction  Persimmon  ToryParty  LabourParty  dctagged  dc:creator=HarrisJohn 
19 days ago by petej
The country I walked through deserves better than Brexit | Mike Carter | Opinion | The Guardian
Nearly everyone I spoke to in those towns said they were going to vote for Brexit. There was a lot of talk of “taking back control”, and in the context of the industrial wastelands, that sentiment made a lot of sense. But the EU issue was, for a majority, a proxy for their pain.

There was a brief moment when it appeared the Conservatives grasped this. When Theresa May became prime minister on 13 July 2016, after David Cameron had fled the post-referendum carnage, she addressed the “just about managing” and said the government “will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours … When we take the big calls, we’ll think not of the powerful, but you.”

But since then we have had a government paralysed by Brexit, effectively not governing at all. We have ongoing crises in most aspects of public policy: housing, transport, prisons, the benefits system, health, education. Homelessness is rocketing, as is food bank use. In some areas of our inner cities, Dickensian diseases such as rickets and beriberi have re-emerged. At a time when politicians should be reaching out to leave voters with concrete proposals for rebalancing our economy, heavily based as it is on services and centred in the south-east, we get a continuation of turbo-charged austerity. In their call for a second referendum, remainers should ask themselves whether the anger that drove the result in June 2016 has been even remotely addressed.


Brexit will deliver none of this. As driven by the right, it is the final part of the race to the bottom that started 40 years ago. There are no easy answers, but until our politicians begin to acknowledge that the globalised neoliberal economic model is a disaster for human beings and the planet we inhabit, we will remain angry and scared and vulnerable to dog whistles. And maybe that is the point.
UK  Brexit  economy  inequality  poverty  deindustrialisation  homelessness  anger  housing  rents  gambling  Bet365  austerity  localGovernment  cuts  AlstonPhilip  UN  politics  TheRight  neoliberalism 
february 2019 by petej
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 Economy Killed Millennials, Not Vice Versa - The Atlantic
Why would young people feel such revolutionary fervor? Maybe it’s not because Millennials have rejected the American dream, but rather because the economy has not only blocked their path to attaining it but punished them for trying to.
USA  economy  millennials  youth  income  spending  media  consumerism  housing  affordability  cars  DemocraticParty  education  debt  politics 
december 2018 by petej
Can Labour forge a new, 21st-century socialism? | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian
The problem is that these ideas have yet to be turned into the kind of stories and messages that might decisively push Labour somewhere new. The party has been transformed, but it has a split personality – to quote the academic Jeremy Gilbert, Labour continues to be divided between a “decentralised political movement that would like to build a more democratic and cooperative economy” and “a top-down project focused entirely on maintaining Corbyn’s leadership, which is largely proposing a return to the statist social democracy of the postwar era”. The former demands deep thought, and the willingness to surrender old orthodoxies; the latter is a comfort blanket to which much of the party still instinctively clings.
UK  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  Corbynism  Fordism  postFordism  post-industrialism  neoliberalism  democratisation  participation  socialMovements  conservatism  nationalisation  decentralisation  welfare  housing  education  schools  Amazon  exploitation  automation  employment  dctagged  dc:creator=HarrisJohn 
september 2018 by petej
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