What’s gone wrong with our housing – and what could go rightPosted: April 4, 2023 | Author: julesbirch | Filed under: Private renting, Right to buy, Social housing | Tags: Barcelona, Singapore, Vienna | Leave a comment
As symbols of failure, take a former council house in south London chopped up into six bedsits, housing association tenants waiting in vain for repairs and private renters searching non-stop for homes
As a symbols of success, take Vienna’s century of genuinely affordable rents, Barcelona’s long-term housing strategy and Singapore’s melding of the market and public ownership.
The Rental Health series stretching across BBC radio and television had all of that and more, from lots of jobs but no homes in the Highlands to the dire state of the rental market in Yorkshire to the mechanics of local housing allowance and Section 21 to people looking for housing alternatives in vans, co-housing and boats.
Those symbols of failure don’t come much starker than the three-bedroom council house on the Bampton estate in Forest Hill featured in the brilliantly appalling BBC Panorama documentary What’s Gone Wrong With Our Housing?
The first tenant moved into the home in 1971, bought it under the right to buy for £15,000 in 1984 and sold it for £85,000 in 1988. It is now owned by a private landlord who has converted it into six bedsits rented out for £960 a month each.
Most of what amounts to £60,000 a year in rent is paid in housing benefit by the government that sold it for a quarter of that.
As if that was not enough to make the point, the same private landlord has done the same thing to three other houses in the same terrace and is pocketing £250,000 a year.Read the rest of this entry »