I can well remember the day , many years ago when, as a small boy, I witnessed the joy of my parents as we moved out of our private rented house and took delivery of a brand new, never been lived in by anyone else, Council house…24, Lowedges Drive, Sheffield 8….it had a luxurious bathroom with a wash hand basin, Bath and a toilet…three spacious bedrooms, modern kitchen and a huge back garden. It even had a brick built flowerpot on the front of the house. I thought it was quite ‘posh’. It was a brand new housing estate with country side at the bottom of the road. We had ‘arrived’. We had a relatively good life there..grew up ..moved on to different areas of Sheffield, always in a council rented property….more time passed and in 1979, a dark cloud passed over the United Kingdom. Her name was ‘Margaret Hilda Thatcher’…a name that most working class people choke on because of her governments relentless attacks on workers and their rights. Aside from her single handed destruction of the working man’s trade unions, which could fight for the worker’s rights and conditions of employment, one of the most harmful things she ever did was to make it the Tory party policy to allow Council house tenants to purchase the houses they rented from the councils where they lived. She talked a lot about the fact that an ‘Englishman’s home is his castle’, people had the right to purchase the council houses at a discounted price and this gave way to the lie that if you owned your own house you were in effect, middle class and you had dragged yourself up from the working class…you were an owner of ‘property’.
Many people fell for this without realising what effect the practice of buying the council house stocks would have on future generations. Or, if they did realise what effect it would have, they didn’t care. That attitude has been attributed directly to the Thatcher ideology of me, me, me, and greed is good…up yours Jack, I’m alright !!….well…we are reaping the benefits of that Tory policy in this present day and age with a chronic shortage of housing stock and massive waiting lists of people who cannot afford to buy a house…and that number grows day by day. Many people, of all ages are forced into the private housing market, where landlords supply houses at high rents for their own profit, and we all know how it works don’t we ?…no repairs on the houses means more profit, no improvements means more profit and we finish up living in virtual squalor for the benefit of a profit seeking landlord. Unless of course you manage to get a benevolent landlord with a bit of a social conscience …and finding one of those is like trying to find rocking horse droppings !!!
Decent living accommodation provided by the people for the people is a social necessity and not a frivolous product of a more socially oriented society of a bygone age. Young people who are newly married and starting out on their lives, people on a low income, the unemployed who can’t find money for a deposit, let alone a mortgage, people who are pensioners and can’t afford a mortgage….the list of people disenfranchised from a decent standard of living by the government, and not only governments of a blue hue either…was it not LORD (that’s a laugh for a so called socialist, is it not?) Prescot, who sanctioned the wholesale demolition of thousands of council properties…then quickly shelved the plans to build ‘Affordable Housing’ to replace them???? The Affordable housing he refers to, is of course, housing for SALE, not rentable from the Council, but for sale, and the small percentage of housing not for sale is owned by ‘Housing associations’….The choice is stark is it not, for people who can’t afford, for whatever reason, to purchase a dwelling to live in…either pay a private landlord a high rent and rely on an ever dwindling public fund to provide rent and council tax relief, or tough it out and wait for another 15-20 years for a council house…….OR…..stop fighting illegal wars, and unwinnable wars which are costing the tax payers countless millions and invest in a public works program to build decent housing for people to rent off their local councils…problem solved for generations to come….And some people don’t like Socialism ?????….why the hell not?
I would imagine there will be some very anti comments to this post from people of a differing political standpoint…well bring it on !!…just remember what I said in the blurb about the Red Box…these are MY views and it matters not a jot that you disagree with them, what does matter, is that we have a platform on which to disagree and debate these issues……….. This is a very important issue for me and so I needed to shout about it…stay safe people.
A few housing facts to back up my claims..(information taken from Charitable groups and Housing charities)
7.7 million homes in England fail to meet the government’s Decent Homes Standard
1.6 million children in Britain live in overcrowded, temporary or run down accomodation
The average weekly rent in 2009-10 was £156 for private renters and £75 for social renters
Almost 50% of local housing allowance claimnents face rent shortfalls-averaging £100 per month
across LONDON homelessness is up by 27.4%
4 million children live in poverty after housing costs have been paid
33% of private renters had lived in their homes for less that 1 year
Birmingham..highest number of homeless people , 925 households
8550 households are homeless because their short lease came to an end.
37% annual increase in number of people being housed in bed and breakfast accommodation
Housing affordability measures show that housing is unaffordable in ALL 33 UK regions