petej + rents   257

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 
21 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.

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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 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
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