social housing

We’re in a housing crisis, and the Tories want to make it worse


david cameron housing crisis

There are not enough houses.

I’ve tried to start this blog ten times or more, but it all comes back to that. There are not enough houses. Everyone blames someone different for it, everyone has a different solution to it, but it all comes back to the same thing: there are not enough houses.

You don’t have to look far to find the effects. Rents are sky-high. House prices are higher still. 4.9 million families cannot afford one or the other and need help to house themselves. There isn’t even close to enough social housing to provide for them, so the state foots a housing benefit bill of nearly £17 billion a year to private landlords, many of whose properties are in an embarrassing state of disrepair.

For many, many of my generation, buying a home of their own is a distant pipe dream, or an impossibility.

As I said, everyone has their different thoughts on the causes and solutions. My own are that the myth that this country is overcrowded has made us scared to build, and the solution is a housebuilding program the likes of which would make the post-war boom seem paltry.

One solution which I haven’t heard mooted before is to sell off what little social housing we have. And yet that’s the one which the Conservative manifesto is putting forward.

Read on…

James Duddridge is wrong to oppose new council housing for Southend


james duddridge

Regular readers will know that I’ve highlighted plenty of stupid things that James Duddridge has said or done in the last year or so. From his aspirations for irresponsibly expanded gambling in Southend, to his bizarre decision to run a “Halifax customers only” constituency surgery, it is safe to say that his judgement hasn’t been fantastic.

And, as Labour’s Cllr Ian Gilbert commented, since the change in administration on the council, he seems to have a lot more to say about what the council is doing. The combination of the two is probably going to lead to predictable results, including this little gem:

In response to the council’s decision announced yesterday, to launch the biggest new council house building programme Southend has seen in decades, James Duddridge is dead set against it.

Read on…

Labour delivering for Southend — new social housing to be built!


echo housing story

It has been a point of some personal annoyance with myself, that the press coverage of Southend Borough Council’s joint administration — the first non-Conservative administration in the town for fourteen years has been dominated thusfar by Martin Terry’s non-announcements. Now, though, we have one of the first hard policy announcements: the building of the first new housing in the borough in some twenty years.

This was something that Labour campaigned heavily on, and in opposition Victoria’s Cllr David Norman led a review of potential sites for housebuilding. David is, of course, now the portfolio holder for Adult Social Care & Housing, and it is entirely because of the hard work that he put in that the administration can move so quickly on this.

Read on…