petej + socialhousing   105

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
Fire in neo-liberal London | openDemocracy
Instead, there is the never-ending mantra of excellence, leadership, and ‘payment by results.’ We can now see those results all around us. They look like the burnt-out shell of Grenfell Tower.
GrenfellTower  socialHousing  migration  race  services  jobs  work  labour  housing  conditions  safety  inequality  neoliberalism  London  UK 
july 2017 by petej
After the Fire | Abi Wilkinson
Ultimately, this is a story about contempt. The contempt for human life displayed by whoever was responsible for choosing to go with cheaper, more flammable cladding to save a measly few thousand pounds—in a borough where wealthier residents will happily drop that sort of cash on a last minute weekend break or a fancy bottle of wine. The contempt towards social tenants shown by a council which clearly believed its primary role was to represent the interests of those more affluent voters, and god help anyone who dares get in its way. The contempt of Theresa May for the people who suffer as a result of the policies her party promotes—proudly cutting public services and health and safety regulations—and really for anyone who might answer back.
GrenfellTower  fire  KensingtonAndChelsea  KCTMO  safety  socialHousing  inequality  cladding  costs  deregulation  standards  accountability  contempt  dctagged  dc:creator=WilkinsonAbi 
july 2017 by petej
How power operates in modern Britain: with absolute contempt | Aditya Chakraborrty | Opinion | The Guardian
The council’s own 2015 assessment of its housing strategy says: “Black residents may not benefit from the plans to build more homes in the borough.” It goes on: “The ability of local people to afford the new homes being built, is dependent on them … increasing their incomes to a sufficient level to afford the new homes.”
housing  socialHousing  Haringey  privatisation  development  localGovernment  accountability  London  dctagged  dc:creator=ChakraborttyAditya 
july 2017 by petej
Grenfell Tower | Municipal Dreams
Thirdly, and underlying everything said so far here and elsewhere, comes MONEY. For almost four decades, we have been taught to see public spending as a bad thing; ruthless economising as a virtue. We have come to know the price of everything and the value of nothing…and have ended with the funeral pyre of Grenfell Tower.

Every one of the criticisms made above is essentially about cost – about how much or how little we as a nation are prepared to spend on the health and well-being of our fellow citizens. Public investment enriches lives; here it would have saved them. The best memorial to all those who have lost their lives in Grenfell is that we as a nation choose collectively to invest in safe and secure public housing for all who need it.
GrenfellTower  fire  regulation  safety  socialHousing  housing  KCTMO  austerity  government  publicServices  UK 
june 2017 by petej
‘The more deprived and edgy, the better’: the two sides of London’s property boom | Life and style | The Guardian
"Now it’s trendy and vibrant, and you can walk to the Bank of England from here in 12 minutes. Tower Hamlets is one of London’s most deprived boroughs, but the area is smartening up and prices are rocketing. The local indigenous people are still there – we still have a jellied eel stand – but they’re surrounded by shiny glass and steel.

People like the edgy feel of east London, the “real London” feel: rich people living cheek by jowl with poor people. Parts of west London feel so safe and mundane."
London  housing  crisis  TowerHamlets  socialHousing  housingAssociations  property  regeneration  prices  markets  homelessness  estateAgents 
may 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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