Originally published as a column for Inside Housing on October 23.
Two of the many things about housing that have been obvious since 2010 could be set to change at last.
First, at a time when interest rates are at a record low, it makes sense to borrow to invest in homes and the infrastructure for them.
Sajid Javid committed this heresy against austerity when he told the Marr Show on Sunday that: ‘Investing for the future, taking advantage of record low interest rates, can be the right thing if done sensibly.’
Second, private housebuilders will build homes only as fast as they can sell them, so if we want more homes the state needs to intervene.
As I’ve argued many times before, it makes financial sense even for a government committed to austerity to commission homes directly, rent them at first and then sell them to recoup the money.
Ministers have taken tentative steps towards this position in the last few Budgets but according to a report in The Sunday Times a giant leap towards it is under consideration for November 22.
Originally posted as a column for Inside Housing on October 2.
For the first time since I can remember average housing association chief executive pay has fallen in real terms.
After years of spurious justifications for bumper pay rises and bonuses that alone is enough to make this year’s Inside Housing salary survey worthy of note.
Beyond that, though, the arguments for and against high pay and the legacy of past increases remain largely the same as in any other year.
No, it’s impossible to defend one pay package of almost £600,000, four more of over £300,000 and another four of over £250,000 at a time when tenants face austerity, the bedroom tax and universal credit.
And, no, boards should not be pretending that they are only paying what the market demands when that market rate is set mostly by housing associations themselves.