Affordable Housebuilding Collapses – and it’s going to get worse

soup-kitchenFigures released today show that genuinely affordable housebuilding – meaning housing that most people can afford to actually live in – has dropped by 28% in the last year.

According to the National House Building Council, the number of public sector housing registrations dropped from 36,680 in 2011, to 26,390 in 2012.  This dwarfed a small rise in private sector house building, meaning the number of new homes built overall in the UK fell by 9% last year.

The devastating loss of social provision is only likely to get worse over the next year.  Social Housing providers have warned that they may have to cut new house building by 8% simply because of the impact of Universal Credit.  Early pilots of Iain Duncan Smith’s sweeping overhaul of the benefits system showed that arrears doubled in areas where the new payment system was trialled.  Housing Associations are stockpiling cash rather than building houses due to fears of an oncoming wave of arrears and evictions.

Not to be outdone, Housing Minister Mark Prisk is determined to make the situation even worse.  Prisk recently squandered almost a million pounds of tax payer’s money promoting the very same Right To Buy policies that created the desperate lack of affordable housing in the UK.

In many parts of the UK even so called ‘affordable homes’ can cost more in weekly rent than the wages from a minimum wage job will pay, or those on even average incomes can afford.  Recent changes to legislation could see Social Housing providers charging rents at 80% of the local private sector average.  In parts of London ‘affordable’ rents could be upwards of a thousand pounds a month, even in the outer boroughs.

With housing benefits being slashed, a collapse in social housing and private rents soaring out of control, millions may soon found themselves at very real risk of homelessness.   The safety net of the welfare state is no longer strong enough for even the working poor to be able to afford a place to sleep

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43 responses to “Affordable Housebuilding Collapses – and it’s going to get worse

  1. National Shack Dwellers Movement !

  2. Pingback: Affordable Housebuilding Collapses – and it’s going to get worse | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's |

  3. That pic at the top of the post is a cue to post this:

    The Ghost of Tom Joad
    — Bruce Springsteen

  4. It might help if you stopped referring to welfare and started speaking again of social security, which is what it’s supposed to be.

  5. Landless Peasant

    Anyone made homeless should squat Emma Harrison’s mansion:

  6. I have tried to get advice centres to accept printed leaflets opposing benefit cuts and bedroom taxes in an effort to campaign against it all, but they are told unless it’s ugov leaflets they cannot give them out..
    Community associations are run by councillors that have supported all of these cuts so no organisation there either. No opposition to any of this
    I even wanted to put an advert in our local paper and they refused to accept it – what sort of a country are we living in, when every public body or business is shored up by government funding grants.

  7. I was referring to charities there also seeing as how they are run as businesses and are exploiting or abusing the unemployed.

  8. The housing sector bubble is the only thing that’s keeping the banks’ books looking moderately ok.
    And it’s inflation has acted as a crucial sponge to absorb the overproduction of money created by the fractional reserve lending system.

  9. forgot to mention Bruce Springsteen song Ghost of Tom Joad and how it highlights capitalism’s failures and how it can be transported from country to country and manipulated by the corporatists and bent governments.
    So why are we still using capitalism as a viable economic ideology?

  10. I’m sorry Bill clinton but I thought it was quantative easing that iwas keeping everything ok, especially for those with mortgages, it hasn’t done much to keep rented sector rents low though.

  11. jv why would housing associations be stockpiling cash incase of impending arrears and evictions? It will not be them that will be subsidizing those in arrears even though they have charitable status and they had no intentions of building houses to rent unless they could sell some of their stock first. Any costs incurred through arrears or evictions goes on the debtors bill as usual. Then to top it all the legal profession will not deal with legal aid cases against the government or other public bodies.

  12. During a economic collapse people should not have to leave homes or pay rent when the government and banks fkd the economy by going into pointless wars and bailout bankers bonuses. Nothing changes though unions want everyone walking to parks when every town should march on their mps and ask them what is going on.

  13. The Bedroom Tax is relying on people been unable to downsize to actually work and provide them the savings. People need to understand that this is juts part of the ongoing Agenda 21, and will be rolled out onto everyone before long like the poll tax was and everyone will have to pay taxes based on the amount of bedrooms they have spare. They are trialing it on the most vulnerable and least able to fight back first to get people used to it been there without having to worry about it. Then it will be moved to everyone on any form of benefit, but start with those on housing benefit first, then move onto the tax credit people, then those on child benefit they haven’t got round to yet, then bring it onto the Council Tax code…

  14. The bedroom tax affects everyone either in or out of work, with or without children, disabled or non disabled if they have spare bedrooms. I queried that one of my bedrooms is less than the required 70sqft and was told as far as the govt is concerned it is still a bedroom, even though in legal terms it is not because of size.

  15. claimants and low paid may have to contribute towards council tax also soon, on top of bedroom tax, reduced benefits etc.

  16. a hammock?

  17. Battersea power station development 600 million in houses sold each around 400 hundred grand ..rising to 600 grand that what they call affordable ?

  18. Don’t think I will get charged bedroom tax as its a bedsit if they did it will be kitchen tax dining room tax bathroom tax…

  19. As a benefit claimant I enquired how much I would be allowed to charge should I decided to rent a bedroom out and was told £20 any income after that would be deducted from benefits. what about utilities, food, laundry costs etc.

  20. I have just spoken to my neighbours son who is in a two bedroom flat and has his children at weekends, but apparently they don’t count. He is over accommodated by one bedroom and has to pay £14 for the extra bedroom, so if he took in a lodger he would have £6 spare to cover all other costs incurred by the lodger as he too is unemployed.

  21. chewie

    Are you paying for care or just accommodation in your bedsit cum bathroom/diner?

  22. Another piece of information I found out, if you let one of your bedrooms to an adult child or other relative, their income is taken into account and could possibly be charged the whole of your rent depending on their earnings. In other words they have to keep you the tenant – that’s discrimination.

  23. something survived...

    Council builds a handful a year then they go on the market and are not affordable to anyone even some middle class people. Rich people get them. Idiots campaign locally to stop/reposess HMO’s and bedsits. You can’t rent a house if you’re single and on benefits. So you need a room, most flats are not affordable. That’s leaving out most landlords refusing people on benefits.

  24. Pingback: Has Lord Fraud Bungled the Universal Credit Launch? | the void

  25. The bedroom tax is just mad! Even if households didn’t need the spare room and decided to downsize where would they move to? There is a serious lack of social housing and affordable rent properties of any size.

  26. Maybe it’s an attempt to stop the poor voting by making as many people homeless as possible?

  27. Pingback: Higher Rents And Less Council Houses: Osborne’s Blundering Cure For The Housing Crisis | the void

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