Council House Building At Record Low In Midst Of Housing Crisis


It doesn’t have to be like this. Graph from Shelter showing the collapse of council housing in the UK.

The number of council houses made available for social rent in England fell to its lowest figure yet in 2013/14 and was outstripped by the number sold off through the Right To Buy scheme.

Just 10,920 new homes with genuinely affordable rents were created during the last year, whilst 11,261 were purchased through Right To Buy according to figures from the DCLG.  This is the first time more houses were sold through the scheme than were built since 2005/06.  It is the lowest ever recorded number of new council houses and has fallen from 38,950 in 2010/11.

In addition 19,740 laughably called affordable homes were created, with rents usually set at 80% of the local private sector market – meaning they could run to hundreds of pounds a week in some parts of the UK.  These homes do often not offer lifetime tenancies, but instead are fixed term and come with a range of conditions attached, including workfare in some cases.  They are not social housing in the way most people understand it, and they are absolutely not what is needed in the midst of a record homelessness epidemic.

Even if you add all the new homes on ‘affordable’ rents and the small number created for ‘social rent’ then only just over 30,000 new homes were made available in 2013/14 – a fall of around 25% since 2010/11 and the second lowest figure in six years.

Elsewhere the news is equally bleak.  In the most recent quarter the number of new houses being built by Housing Associations fell by 27%, and is down by almost two thirds from a year ago.  Housebuilding overall fell by 10% from the previous quarter and is down 9% since this time last year.

Everybody knows that what is needed to solve the housing crisis is more council houses.  Everyone knows that Right To Buy has been a disaster.  Neither of the main parties plans to do anything about either, and Labour’s record on building socially rented homes was equally atrocious if not worse.  The only people who benefit from the current shambles are property developers and landlords.  And  that’s who both the political parties are writing their housing policies for.  The only thing more broken than the UK’s fucked housing market is the rotten and corrupt so-called democracy at Westminster.

Support the March for the Homeless on April 15th in London, Glasgow, Hull, Newcastle, Manchester, Huddersfield, Norwich, throughout Ireland and across the world.

The figure on social and affordable house-building can be found at:

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45 responses to “Council House Building At Record Low In Midst Of Housing Crisis

  1. overburdenddonkey

    this is thatchers dream come true haves and have not’s, a vast dependable right wing voter pool/drool…
    i’ve been banging on about these and perma-culture for years now…against a raft of cries it’ll devalue our properties, as if, the rising prices of properties is owned, guaranteed, and in the bag…
    the roof over head/quality of life/community is what is important not surges in market prices…few listen….it’ll never happen in our selfish self centred culture….denial benefactors rule ok!

  2. OT: Channel4 Dispatches UC

    From Comments section of

    This is very telling about where things are going :

    ephemerid aBitMoreFairness
    5h ago


    Universal Credit was supposed to make work pay – in fact, for most, it makes work pay less than it does now.
    The idea was that people who could only get odd bits of work would lose less under UC than they do now.
    It’s not true – someone working and claiming HB and tax credits now gets to keep 76p per pound of gross pay, under UC it’s 65p or less.

    The other problem is the new rules on when a claim can be made and when the first payment can be made.
    All UC claimants have jobsearch conditionality, and they must wait 7 days before a claim can be registered.
    They are required to satisfy jobsearch conditions before they register the claim, so the jobcentre can refuse to register the claim and ask the claimant to try again in 7 days time – a sort of pre-claim sanction. Even though the claimant has not yet signed any Claimant Commitment and thus does not have any instructions on what is expected of them.
    Once the claim is registered, assuming all the online application is OK and all the supporting documentation is present and correct, it then takes a minimum of 5 weeks for the first payment to be processed. One little glitch and the whole thing has to be started again from scratch.

    If the claim is finally sorted out, the claimant will get their first payment at about 6 weeks – so unless they have a bit set aside, they are likely to get behind with rent and bills. While they wait, they have to provide jobsearch evidence.
    Established claims must then be updated with any changes monthly in real time; the assumption is that DWP, HMRC, employers, LA housing departments, the claimant, and the “work coach”, will all do this correctly. In real time.
    If there is an error on the claim, there is a new system of fines – whoever makes the error, the claimant pays £50 per error for “failure to maintain the correct administration of a claim” taken in full from the next due payment.
    The assumption is that the claimant is responsible for the administration of their claim, even when DWP staff are tinkering with it.

    The Dispatches programme has a piece of footage in which the undercover reporter asked about delays – the trainer told him that everything with UC gets delayed, except sanctions. No delays there.
    All UC claimants are subject to sanction. All of them. They are also “eligible” for the Work Programme. You could have a person working part-time at Asda for 25 hours a week, who gets sent back for the other 10 to earn their UC.
    There’s also no consideration for people who work and are expected to look for more or “better” work. They may have a good relationship with their employers but how long will that last when it becomes known that they are frantically looking elsewhere to avoid a sanction?
    It is up to the jobcentre “work coach” to decide what “better” work actually is, and however settled and happy you are in your job, if you work 35 hours but still need a UC top-up (to help with housing costs, say) your “work coach” has the power to refer you for sanction or refuse benefit entirely if you do not comply with whatever is imposed on you.

    UC is calculated on household income – so any other income/savings of any person in the household is used for the means-test. Whether that’s pay, pensions, other benefits, savings – it’s all got to be declared and it’s all included.
    A sick child who has a medical compensation award may have their “savings” counted; an adult child who works but lives at home will have their income counted; there is only one UC claim allowed per household, and before that person gets any UC all the household’s money must be considered.
    Also, what a lot of people don’t realise is that pensioners will be affected by UC.
    If a couple is made up of one person who is an OAP but the other is below pension age (and don’t forget, people are now waiting much longer for their pension) and the younger has to claim UC, the income of the pensioner is taken into account for the means-testing.

    UC was supposed to simplify the system. In fact, it has made it much more complex.
    All the benefits included in it will still be active and in payment for many as UC is rolled out; people on other benefits and Support Group ESA will stay on the old systems and some benefits will remain contributions-based as they are now.
    UC is all means-tested, so people who have paid NI conts for years won’t get the same entitlement they have now for NI conts-based benefit if the benefit they want to claim is under the UC umbrella, but others will if it isn’t.

    It’s a mess. A horrible, complicated, incompetent – and vicious – mess.


    5h ago
    18 19

    Little is said about the impact UC will have on the low-income self-employed – disastrous is about the best word to describe it. Currently, a self employed person who has a bad patch can still receive just enough money to live on and would qualify for rent assistance – under UC, there is to be an ‘assumption’ made that self-employed people have earned the equivalent of minimum wage – therefore, if you have a bad week, you won’t be entitled to much help because the system has you down as earning money you haven’t earned.

    I predict a large number of low-income self-employed folk will just give up and sign on as unemployed. There is little incentive to stay in your low-paid self-employed work under this system because of this ridiculous earnings assumption and also because whereas we currently deal with the HMRC for administration of tax credits, we will be forced to deal with the far more inhuman and incompetent DWP for Universal Credit and have to be subject to similar scrutinies from them as the unemployed already endure – no incentive to keep at our modest livelihoods at all under this rotten system.

    bluejewel PaulTreloar
    3h ago
    3 4

    As is common where new legislation has impacts on people’s current position, there are Transitional Provisions that apply when a claimant is moved from any of the assortment of benefits onto UC. These provisions are claimed to lessen the immediate impact of change. In the famous words of IDS ‘No one will be worse off in cash terms on changing to UC’. (An obvious and craven barefaced lie!)

    However, consider these differences in approach and policy. There is no transitional provision for the move of currently self employed TC claimants onto UC. The ‘minimum income floor’ will be applied (35 hours x MW assumed).

    On the other hand, unlike TC, for UC capital is to be taken into account. This includes savings/property/shares etc. But here, the transitional provisions apply. So, a tax credit claimant who owns a second property worth £250,000 currently has some small amount of deemed income applied. On the move to UC, it will not be taken into account at £250,000 and therefore make the person ineligible for UC, but will stay the same as TC until they change their circumstances.

    Why the strict treatment of the low income self employed, but concessions given to those with possibly large amounts of capital wealth?

    I guess the best that can be said is it is at least on a par and consistent with Tory ideology as a whole.

    Charlottejane TheWatchingPlace
    2h ago

    Thank you. The points you make cannot be reiterated often enough. Many self employed people on WTC and CTC have no idea what’s about to hit them- and if they try to sign on, they will just get sanctioned and kicked out of the system that way. Think that sanctions mean losing just £72 per week if you’ve got kids? Think again: they are planning to take the lot, leaving you with £0.00 to live on. All of this was in the white paper published in 2011, so everyone in this situation presumably has a contingency plan by now…

    And Finally to Show just how ill thought out the legislation is written:

    3h ago

    Under UC, they will become entitled to new support for part-time working.

    That is, and always has been for UC, an ‘interesting’ point. One of the main aims of UC is to get people into full time work and to discourage part time topped up with benefits. As far as I can see from reading the small print, part timers who fall into the category of being able to work full time will be required to seek and find more work. And we all know what happens if you are deemed to have fallen short of this requirement. Yes, all together now, ‘”SANCTIONS!” Where zero hours fits into this is anyone’s guess.

    Also, self employed will be deemed to be earning 35hours at min wage (TC does not stipulate any particular ££s earnings) before any calculation is made. That’s going to be a bit of a shocker to all those who, encouraged by DWP with the carrot of tax credits went self employed.

    • Universal Crash

      “Universal Credit has crashed again! Please re-boot!” “universal Jobmatch has crashed again – please re-boot!”. “Work Plan Space (allows the jobcentre to ‘talk’ to Universal Credit has crashed – please re-boot!”

  3. It wasn’t all that long ago I sat in an office with the newly formed GHA housing ass. and Shelter in which Shelter signed up to the Mass Demolition of council housing in Glasgow. True a lot did need coming down but most were perfectly habitable, so as far as shelter are concerned bought and paid for. We do desperately need more Council Housing but we also need to bring Housing back under local authority control, Maggie started the sell-off Tory Blare finished the job. Not to mention the fact if we go on a mass house building prog. it would work wonders for our economy

    • When they boast about how many affordable housing units that have been built in Scotland the politicians take care not to mention how many (true) social housing units they have demolished.

  4. OT.

    “Could Ministry of Justice & Grayling be prosecuted for manslaughter over prison suicides?”

    • overburdenddonkey

      let me bang on again re powerful raw vid; punishment; a failed social experiment….presented, by prof joe sim and the section headed soul-utions the successful work of dr bob johnson…

  5. What a mess … they are f*cking mad.

    Do they really think that they are going to escape into gated communities, remember dog eat dog is plural!

    • overburdenddonkey

      mr r
      is it not time that we, the people, realized that we live in a country run by dumb, less than mediocre, meritocratic, rank, bullying, (would be) aristocrats…who depend on us for creativity and their incomes…without our inputs they would have nothing…they see other human beings, as if, piles of paper, which to spend…if it lines their purse and/or pockets it’s creative…. enigma; the imitation game…
      is this art, is this creative, is this humour? yet this is the best MSM and the establishment can offer..
      scotland, have a strong voice in the union vote no, now shut up and eat yer cereal, don’t think, get back in your box and do as you are told…snp bad….

      • Scotland 2015
        The Big Immigration Debate
        With Sarah Smith. What are the arguments for more or less immigration? And what impact do immigrants have on Scotland’s public services and culture?

        The progressive Scots “(would be) aristocrats” so uncomfortable and uptight with democratic debate every participant carefully selected, every word carefully crafted.

        • overburdenddonkey

          mr r
          it’s obvious that bbc support the establishment….and social policy is carefully crafted and starved of or given cash according to those agendas..
          policies paced on feast or famine…the core infrastructure of the uk was built in victorian times much of it still functioning today…and built by peoples from all over the world…with uk industry etc, shedding (paid) labour like there’s no tomorrow, it’s NLR, surplus to requirements….this is/will be the establishment debate shoaling catalyst…whereas the common weal tells a completely different story….

  6. reminds me of a fair few year ago where the local housing association knocked hundreds of houses down on my estate with the plans of building new ones in their place… but then ran out of money and simply never began building new ones there

  7. Is there any hope for the UK? Where will this country be in fifty years time?

    • Don’t think 50, think 5 if the tories get their wish of whole sale riots ‘Pole Tax’ style… Oh have I let the Cat out of the Bag… Police State, Rich Lording it over the Flat Cap Peons, no right to vote if not working, disabled and other undesirable vanishing etc etc etc. Welcome to the New Nazi empire. Mark my words.

  8. This so called democracy we have is an illusion, voting wont change a thing. This is not a game and the politicians will not wake up to this fact until millions storm Westminster as the French did the Bastille. The elected plutocrats have their own brand of eugenics by culling the poor with benefit sanctions. What they forget it that they need millions of people on low wages to keep their capitalist machine going and the sooner we say enough the better. This extreme capitalism is a form of social cleansing where the survival of the fittest is all that matters but they need the state to keep their private property. Something has got ot give.

    “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.”
    ― Aristotle

  9. I wonder how many other graphs show downhill all the way since Thatcher.

  10. Thatcher was a socialist for the rich. She said there can be no freedom without economic freedom. My father said 30 years ago people buying their council houses would block their children and granchildren out of the housing market and how right he was, if he were alive today he would not be surprised at what is happening.

    The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer £4.95 this book costs a good read.

    Economist Dean Baker debunks the myth that conservatives favour the market over government intervention. In fact, conservatives rely on a range of “nanny state” policies that ensure the rich get richer while leaving most Americans and Britains worse off. It’s time for the rules to change. Sound economic policy should harness the market in ways that produce desirable social outcomes – decent wages, good jobs and affordable health care.

    TTIP the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership means they are coming for the NHS, Fuck the bastards.

  11. A reactionary revolution against muscular liberalism and progressivism.

  12. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Johnny Void here gives the stats showing that not only is the number of council houses being built at an appallingly low level, but so is the number of homes generally. He also points out that for many people, the high level at which the rents and mortgages from affordable homes are set make them anything but. Most shocking of all is the fact that many of these also include workfare in their terms and conditions. He points out that this situation has been manufactured purely for the benefit of private landlords.

    The article also reports the news about a planned March for the Homeless on 15th of next month in a number of British cities, including London, Ireland and elsewhere in the world.

    • “affordable” just means that someone can afford it 😀

      • lol just heard someone say on the Today programme: “we would like to see more affordable housing built not just housing that someone can afford” lol obviously a Void reader 🙂

  13. Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    EAT THE RICH!!!!

  14. Vote for CLASS WAR!!


  15. 30,000 DWP staff ‘could lose jobs by 2020’ – 10th March 2015

    As many as 30,000 staff at the Department for Work and Pensions could face redundancy if the Conservatives are returned to power, senior officials have privately warned

    The Financial Times reports civil servants warning that even under Labour’s less severe spending cuts as many as 20,000 staff could lose their jobs.

    The Government said decisions on future spending had “not been taken” and any estimates of job losses in the department were “complete speculation”.

    Since the coalition’s first spending review in 2010, the number of civil service officials has reduced by more than 70,000.

    The DWP is the highest spending government department with an annual budget of more than £170bn.

  16. Blaze at Barry job centre – 11th March 2015

    AN INVESTIGATION is taking place after a blaze broke out at Barry’s JobCentre Plus, on Holton Road, Barry, this morning (March 11).

    Emergency services attended the scene and the town centre road was cordoned off while firefighters tackled a ground floor fire in the premises.

    Read More:

  17. Job-seeker forced to ditch political work experience scheme after being threatened with unfair benefit sanctions – 5th March 2015

    THE woman, who was on a placement with SNP backbencher Clare Adamson, tried to re-arrange her signing on time but was told she’d face a penalty if she didn’t return from Holyrood for her appointment.

    A JOB-seeker had to ditch part of a political work experience scheme after being threatened with unfair benefits sanctions.

    The woman tried to rearrange her signing-on appointment but was told she had to return to Glasgow from Holyrood in Edinburgh or face the penalty.

    It comes as Tory benefits axewoman Esther McVey faces growing pressure to launch an independent probe into evidence that Department for Work and Pensions staff feel forced to penalise claimants.

    The mother of two, who does not want to be named, was taking part in a six-day attachment with SNP backbencher Clare Adamson as part of a project run by the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights.

    Read More:

  18. If they went back to having the houses under the LHA, then each home built would bring more jobs, trade and a boost to the local areas. We are desperate for more social homes instead of everyone trying to buy one. Millions cannot and don’t want to buy a house, millions have no choice but to live in social housing. If we clear a lot of slums and build new properties with affordable rents we could solve a lot of the housing crisis. One of our housing associations bought a large printing company that had moved to a smaller property, they have turned it into lovely flats, that are fully modernised and the ground floor is for the disabled. The flats go from the first to the fourth floor and from that one building there are just over a hundred, very roomy flats/apartments, all 2 bedded.
    In Scotland the “bedroom tax” is not paid by any individual as the Scottish Government pay it – and if we can we will get rid of it when we get our new powers.

  19. Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    The urgent need for the building of thousands upon thousands of new homes for the councils, housing associations, plus the need to revert back to the LHA…

  20. overburdenddonkey

    this is good… labour frightened of hard work? 🙂

  21. Pingback: Council House Building At Record Low In Midst O...

  22. The 18th of March shall Mark the Anniversary of the Tolpuddle Martyrs being Sentenced to Penal Transportation to Australia in 1834 .

    Slave Labour and Oppression must be Resisted

  23. The 19th of March Mark’s the Anniversary of the House of Commons
    Passing an Act Abolishing the House of Lords in 1649 Declaring it
    ” Useless and Dangerous to the People of England ”

    Who Agree’s with this and Why ?

  24. However the House of Commons was Viewed as Out of Touch and
    Oliver Cromwell had it Disbanded

  25. I Despair

  26. Pingback: Government Statistics No Longer Reliable Say Charities As Homelessness Epidemic Gets Even Worse | the void

  27. Pingback: Over 90,000 Children Now In Temporary Accommodation As The Homelessness Epidemic Gets Even Worse | the void

  28. Ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto, ditto. I don’t think I could ever stop saying how true it is that one must edit everything over and over and over again to eliminate the kind of wordiness that sneaks into most of our writing, despite our best efforts to make sure it does NOT sneak in, because that sort of thing is very annoying to readers who really appreciate brevity, which is the soul of wit.LikeLike

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