Tuesday, 18 November 2008

'Catastrophic' drop in social housing

. Today's Financial Times reports that, at a time when waiting lists are at a record high, the provision of social housing is 'drying up'. The landlords are urging the government to change the way they are funded.

Associations have traditionally subsidised there development with the support of heavy borrowing and a large amount of debt. They also sell a large proportion of properties to private buyers to subsidise the social housing they are obliged to build. However, that market has collapsed so now the The Housing Corporation, which funds and monitors the sector, has begun an urgent review of 258 associations. Of 39 examined so far, four have been given an “amber” warning, meaning there are serious fears about their future.

It can currently only provide 40% of the funding for a scheme with the rest coming from borrowing and private sales. The National Housing Federation, which represents the associations, wants more central funding to be made available. However, the only concrete proposal to come from Margaret Beckett thus far is the ending of council homes for life which strikes me as a example of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Maybe this is an issue which we can start to flag-up and draw to peoples attention....


wit and wisdom said...

Ending council homes for life is long overdue. Its the only way larger houses can be freed up and, as long as the tenants being moved are given proper alternative accommodation and reasonable rights of appeal there should be little problem with this.

asquith said...

Wit and Wisdom, the solution is surely to make exchanges more widely known & easier rather than have people live in terror of eviction as the Daily Heil & its followers would like.

There needs to be more social housing, whether it be council or housing association. Let us learn from the past & never revert to the pre-Right to Buy ways of having monolithic estates, but instead mix social housing in amongst private housing, in ways such as those I have been writing about on my own blog (cough, sneeze) lately.

I believe Clegg said that social housing should be built in rural areas, in his speech to the CPRE (an organisation I belong to, by the way).

Darrell G said...

I tend to agree with Asquith or else you are robbing Peter to pay Paul....Yes he did Asquith...i believe you suggested somebody blog on it which I didnt at the time; sorry....and there is a link to your blog, Hell Patrol on the right...:)