Housing

Landlords profit from right to buy

Submitted by Matthew on 13 December, 2017 - 10:37 Author: Gemma Short

Four in ten former council homes bought under the Right to Buy scheme are now owned by private landlords.

The data, obtained by industry magazine Inside Housing from 111 local authorities using a Freedom of Information request, shows how Thatcher's scheme has decimated social housing stock. In the councils surveyed, a total of 180,260 leasehold properties had been sold under the Right to Buy since 1980. Of these, 72,454 are now registered with an "away address", meaning they are not occupied by the owner.

Reverse the inequality spiral!

Submitted by Matthew on 6 December, 2017 - 12:57 Author: Colin Foster
Reverse the inequality spiral

The share prices of big companies (the FTSE 100) continue to rise. Top bosses' pay dropped a bit between 2015 and 2016, but is on a long-term trend to rise faster than workers' wages, and stood at £3.45 million in 2016 (median pay for FTSE 100 CEOs). The average profit rate of UK firms (outside finance and outside the North Sea oilfields) recovered entirely a long time ago from its dip in 2008-9, and is now around 13%, compared to 8% in 2001.

The housing crisis and fighting back Matthew Wed, 12/06/2017 - 12:44
Housing crisis

Britain has a housing crisis. According to Shelter more than 300,000 people — the equivalent to one in every 200 — are homeless or living in inadequate homes. According to official figures 1.3 million people are on a local authority waiting list for housing. By 2020, 25% of people will be renters, rather than home owners. Londoners now spend 40% of their income on rent, and increasing.

Labour campaigns to make homes safe cathy n Fri, 11/24/2017 - 12:35
Housing rights

Labour launched a “Make Homes Safer” campaign on the 9 November to pressure the government to put aside money for urgent repairs to old buildings in the autumn budget.

The campaign calls for central government to set aside money for local councils to retrofit sprinklers and other safety systems to their housing. In his speech launching the campaign Jeremy Corbyn said: “The evidence is clear: where sprinkler systems have already been fitted, injuries sustained from fires have been cut by approximately 80 per cent and deaths from fires have almost been eliminated entirely.”

Grenfell: the fight goes on cathy n Fri, 11/24/2017 - 08:39

The Metropolitan Police have confirmed the final death toll of the Grenfell Tower fire is 71 people.

Fatalities include one family of six, and at least three families of five, and ranged in ages from a stillborn baby to an 84 year-old woman. The pattern of deaths exposes inadequacies of social housing — housing the elderly high up in tower blocks with inadequate escape routes, and large families in small flats.

Universal Credit: force Tories to back down!

Submitted by AWL on 21 October, 2017 - 12:34 Author: Matthew Thompson and Mike Chester
Stop benefit sanctions protest

In the end, just one Tory MP, Sarah Wollaston, the Chair of the Health Select Committee who has rebelled on a number of issues in the past, including Europe and Syria, defied the whips and voted with Labour when it came to the motion put down for an Opposition Day debate in the House of Commons calling upon the Government to pause the roll-out across the countryof its controversial new benefit Universal Credit, rather than abstaining as she and her colleagues had been instructed to do by them, but despite ministers pointing out the non-binding nature of the 299-0 result, political problems

Roll back Universal Credit roll-out

Submitted by Matthew on 16 October, 2017 - 8:55 Author: Matthew Thompson
Food bank

The Government is coming under pressure to halt the roll-out of Universal Credit, the new benefit which is replacing six existing ones: Jobseekers' Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Income Support.

£54 billion for private landlords Matthew Wed, 10/04/2017 - 08:46

Private landlords have become the dominant force in housing in Britain, raking in £54 billion in rent in the year June 2016 to June 2017, while the interest paid by house-buyers to banks and financiers went down to £27 billion.

Almost half the rent payments are made by younger people, and the slice of household income spent on housing has trebled over the past 50 years.

Young people pay higher rents for smaller, less secure rented flats and houses, and have longer commutes, than in the 1960s.

Grenfell inquiry begins cathy n Thu, 09/21/2017 - 16:48

The inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire opened on Friday 15 September. Those affected have little confidence that it will yield justice.

The inquiry will not examine the wider social and political context of the fire, including social housing, and was criticised by Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack as being a “mighty kick of some really fundamental issues into some very long grass”.