Housing and rents

A shelter report reveals that rents are now too dear for ordinary families. What does too dear mean and why is it so? The Guardian newspaper reported that: “The Shelter Rent Watch found that average private rents were unaffordable for ordinary working families in 55% of local authorities in England. Typical rents charged by private landlords were more than a third of median take-home pay, the widely accepted measure of affordability.” A key indicator of this in the Shelter report is that households are now cutting down on food in order to transfer money to rents.

http://england.shelter.org.uk/news/october_2011/rental_market_in_crisis

Presumably demand is high because people are unable to afford to buy and/or cannot get affordable social housing? Demand causes price escalation for ‘customers’ who cannot afford the price but pay because housing is an essential. This is made worse by controls on housing benefit recently introduced, a fact which unscrupulous landlords appear not to be responding to. Ironically families are being forced to uproot AWAY from work and family in order to afford housing.

Making money out of exploiting others through rents is obscene. Rent caps – or fair rent controls are surely appropriate?

The Government’s intention to launch another round of ‘right to buy’ for Council or Housing Association tenants is nonsense. This was recently announced by David Willets on the Today Programme. Though I note that even Ed Miliband admitted in his conference speech that the ‘right to buy’ under Thatcher was a good idea. Blue Labour as it is now called.

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