Generation Squat

The recent steep increase in prohibitively expensive and consequently rather unstable living arrangements in this country is a direct consequence of the privatisation of council housing (sold to us as the “right to buy”) which began under the Thatcher government and which stripped social housing stock from the state, never to be replaced. Almost all rental housing is now held by private landlords or private consortiums, while any new housing being built largely consists of unaffordable, luxury properties intended for sale to either the very wealthy or to those overseas investors who regard the UK (and especially London) as a useful tax haven. Nobody, it seems, is building to satisfy the requirements of the next generation of ordinary people.

What is now desperately needed in this country is a political party which has the courage and vision to embark upon a large-scale building project, constructing sizeable numbers of quality council houses which will restore to our country the residential stock that it needs while simultaneously revitalising our industrial base. Booming house price are useless if nobody can afford to live anywhere, just as a stable economy is of no benefit to those stuck living in poverty. The only alternative is that Generation Rent will inevitably be followed by Generation Squat.

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About Fles

Early middle-aged (oh yes I am!), no longer long-haired but still speccy and decidedly still an increasingly opinionated git. I’m basically a believer in individualism, that everybody has their own perspective and inner-beauty. I try to find humour in every situation. I enjoy reading and writing poetry.
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4 Responses to Generation Squat

  1. Phil Rivers says:

    The right to buy started under Wilson some 15 /20 years before Thatcher.

  2. What is needed is more house building, for over a decade the increase in supply has fallen woefully short of the increase in demand which, combined with reckless availability of finance, is why prices rose the way they did. Its not necessarily better for the houses to be owned by a housing association than a private individual but if the speculative aspect were taken out by sorting out the supply side then the quick buck investors who work on capital growth would go leaving the professional landlord (sometimes a company) who work on yield. The latter actively seek long term tenants and keep their dwelling in good order in order to maintain a consistency of income. Getting developers to build is vital so gearing the planning process so that it makes sure that building happens promptly is vital. As it stands with all sizeable new developments there is a requirement that some of it is social housing which tends to be done in conjunction with housing associations and housing associations are still building developments themselves. However its is quite wrong to say that most new housing is luxury unaffordable housing as if it was the developer wouldn’t manage to sell them. They do price to the top end of what they can sell, and always have done, but they have to work with figures that are affordable in order to stay in business, clearly if measures were put in place to increase the housing stock then the prices would stop rising, economically we really don’t want a massive drop in house prices as that would put millions into negative equity and reduce the value of the security held by the lender’s charges over dwellings, which could spark a second banking crisis as people hand over their keys in the way they did in the early 90’s.

  3. Fles says:

    Agreed, a sudden massive drop in house prices would be a bad thing but the current bubble is unsustainable and unhealthy.

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