We need more social housing

Holiday reading and reflection has certainly sharpened my political sense of direction.  I see housing and property ownership generally as being a critical issue here in Britain.  Hence today I have published an opinion piece in Lib Dem Voice.  We need better housing for a better Britain.

I will expand on this theme in future blogs here.

4 thoughts on “We need more social housing”

  1. I read it, I am not a Lib Dem supporter, and this is one of the reasons why.

    I dunno how someone in good faith can talk about the lack of housing capacity in Britain and the inflated prices due to the shortage, without even mentioning our out of control immigration system.
    An estimate of 3million immigrants during Labours years in power.
    Thats why we have a housing problem, we wouldn’t even have had population growth without it and you didn’t even mention it, didn’t even mention it….

    I’m all for being polite and trying to avoid sounding like a member of the BNP etc, but politics is about difficult issues, not sweeping them under the carpet.

    So my question to you, if you were in government and you build a large number of ‘social’ housing, how would you define who gets access to these taxpayer subsidised homes?

    And if, as I suspect you don’t want to do much to limit who gets access (LibDem) how is it going to solve the problem?
    Britain can’t restrict immigration from the EU, the more social housing you build the quicker new people come to this country to gain access to them. In no way do I blame them for it, if free stuff is on the table people will come.
    The shortage would in the end be just as much as before..

    Also, I am all infavour of the right to buy, it saved the councils a lot of money to off load the expense of maintaining the property and made people more responsible for their own homes.
    But at the same time, if you are going to give people the right to buy a subsidies home, and then allow that person to sell it at the market rate it effectively means the government is just putting £20,000 in their pocket (or more).
    Is that really money well spent?

    imo, if the government is subsiding property (which I don’t favour), then there must be some sort of restrictions on the sale of it.

    We should also remember, the government as it stands today is subsidising home sellers, by having an ultra low interest rate (BOE, government, whatever, same folks) which allow buyers to bid up the prices of housing more than they would otherwise be able to.
    If interest rates were back up to their natural historical level between 5% and 10% house prices would be a lot lower.

    The government says it wants one thing, while pursuing polices that do the opposite.

    1. Immigration is clearly one of the issues, and I think it was part of my comments. And a very important one so far as concerns social housing. There is an element of public subsidy to it, and if not done properly it could act as an encouragement to the wrong sort of immigration. In fact I think migrants can and should be accommodated in the private rented sector – with social housing relieving the pressure on our own worse off citizens.

      Immigration clearly has an effect on property prices though. But the effects should not be exaggerated, and there are many other factors causing the number of households to increase. Many migrants crowd into private rented accommodation, accepting conditions that the locals wouldn’t dream of.

      Against which you must consider the benefits of immigration, which is another hard fact which must be faced up to. I live in London. We’d have suffered an economic catastrophe here if all those migrants hadn’t come in to do the jobs that the locals can’t or won’t do. Inflation would have gone through the roof, economic growth down the pan. Now many of these migrants are going home, which means that we don’t have to pay benefits when they are out of work – they just go somewhere else where the work is. Trouble is that too many Brits are returning home too, which means that net immigration is carrying on.

      The brutal fact is that this country is unable to educate enough of its citizens in both hard and soft skills to do many of the jobs that need doing, and pay the taxes to keep the show in the road. How do we plug this gap with immigration. And how to stop “bad” immigration if we need to keep “good” immigration going? These are the sorts of hard truth that many people won’t confront.

      1. But you mix high skilled immigration which benefits us all, with low skilled low paid, and often government make work jobs.

        If it was upto me, I would only give work permits to those with jobs paying over the average wage to stop immigrants competing with the young for entry level jobs.
        And yes I know it would be difficult to get unemployed Brits back to work, but we’ve gotta do something sooner or later to address welfare dependency.

        But the point of my comment wasn’t to criticise immigration in general, but immigration with regard to social housing.

        We surely can’t talk about the need for massive amounts of social housing without talking about when most of the additional need for that housing is coming from.

        You say “Many migrants crowd into private rented accommodation, accepting conditions that the locals wouldn’t dream of.”

        And would often be illegal for a landlord to stack so many people into a house like that, a landlord wouldn’t take the chance with Brits, but they know immigrants are less likely to know their rights.

        1. I don’t agree with you about the overall impact of immigration on the housing issue – in my view it is one amongst many factors. But you are quite right to bring it up in the context of my social housing piece – considering its role and effect in the light of immigration patterns is a critical issue, which I didn’t mention.

Comments are closed.