Saturday 18 October 2014

I've just been to a talk on the future of social housing


Notes from a talk about the future of social housing

house prices,estate agents,housing crisis,Housing,Social housing,right to buy

First speaker, female, book about growing up in social housing and how this is intrinsically linked to class. Once I have a house with a bay window and a tree outside, I've made it!

Second speaker, male, about the effects of Right To Buy, and the privatisation of the UK's housing stock in the Thatcher years. New public housing production fell off a cliff and the Conservative government expected the free market to step in. It didn't. We still haven't addressed this since and it runs to the core of the current issues in our housing market. The government wants a huge number of homes to be built, without issuing any incentives or subsidies to do so.

Third speaker, male, about housing associations. He sees them as the "least worst option." There is no such thing as a UK housing market. There are a series if regional markets. I'm terms of the North East of England the main concern is that economic activity and growth have been low for a sustained period - thus subduing the house-building market.

Opened up to the floor, for questions or reflections from the audience.

Your thoughts on Right To Buy?
It's fine, as long as there is something in place to replace the social housing stock. It strikes through to the British psyche of home ownership and being a nation of homeowners.

What is your opinion of Right To Buy as Buy-to-Let?
The realisation of the asset may come much later than the purchase. Second or third generation Right To Buy owners may not see the house in the same way as their parents or grandparents who initially bought the home from the council.

Comment on the floor
The future of the housing market will not succeed by leaving the free market to resolve private and social housing needs. There needs to be incentives and interventions by government to produce a different response from the house building companies.

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