Condem UK Housing Policy = Social Cleansing

mark at mark at
Sat Sep 22 10:37:08 BST 2012

Just came across the following (copied below). New social housing 
tenants are to pay 80% of 'market rates under the new 80% affordable 
housing scheme - which will make rents unaffordable to lower-income 
families. Recall that Policy Exchange, an influential think tank set 
up by Conservative MP Nick Boles (now Planning Minister) - an ally of 
prime minister David Cameron - said in its report 'Ending Expensive 
Social Tenancies' the UK could afford to build 170,000 social homes a 
year by putting the highest-value properties on the market when they 
become vacant. Together with the capping of benefits at £500 a week, 
it is a policy which will have the effect of pushing the lower income 
households out of wealthy areas, which we have known was happening and 
in the pipeline 2 years ago.

  social housing panic!
Posted: 03/09/2012

    The area in which we live (deemed an estate god I hate that word) 
consists of 2 double sided streets of 2 storey buildings which contain 
4 flats each, and 3 side roads of bungalows. the housing association 
which we rent from, is a social housing association.

     Now the housing association whom own the majority of these 
places(some are privately owned or rented) have decided that they are 
old and outdated and not fit for living in and cost too much to 
maintain so the whole 'estate' is being knocked down and redeveloped. 
People who own their properties have been bought out of their 
mortgage, people whom pay market rent to a private landlord have been 
asked to move out by their estate agents, yet although effectivly 
homeless do not qualify for social housing and have to find elsewhere 
to live (???) Us social tenants have been given 2 options.

     1) move out of the estate permantly to another social rent 
property in this or surrounding areas if and when one becomes 
available to our specific requirements. we have to bid for these on 
the housing register online and get given priority over most other 
social housing applicants whom may bid.

     2) stay where we are for as long as possable and live on a 
building site until our specific property is required for demolition. 
we get a 2 month notice and have to live in temporary accomadation 
until one of the new properties is built and we can move back, and get 
a spanking new house.

     Either way we get paid a few thousand for our inconvience plus 
have our removal costs paid. Money badly needed in our case!

     Simple yes? apparantly not.

    Option1 means everybody with the same housing needs are bidding on 
the same properties.

     There are about 50-60 familes including us with a 3 bed housing 
need, so that means 50-60 people all bidding on the same houses every 
week and we have to wait till we get lucky. 3 bed properties in our 
area (and surrounding areas) are rarer then a blue unicorn sitting on 
a rainbow with a pot of gold, and one only comes up about every month 
or so. 1 and 2 bed properties are more available, but more people here 
need them, so there is the same problem. to make matters worse, the 
housing association have just decided that 1 in every 5 properties 
advertised will be let as "affordable renting schemes" which means 
social housing tenants are expected to pay 80% of the market rental 
rate. So everybody that needs one here are worrying as its a large 
increase on our rent which we cant afford (Hence why we live in social 

     option 2

     If we move into temporary accomadation and wait for a new build 
on the estate, we could end up moving anywhere for any number of years 
whilst waiting for our new accomodation. This means moving twice, and 
possibly having to pull kids out of school and travelling god knows 
how many miles to work every day. This has already happened to several 
familes whom have had to relocate to the next town and put their kids 
in different schools. And yes you've guessed it, the new properties 
being built are going to be given affordable rent status meaning our 
rent is going to increase significantly. Oh and we also have to bid 
for them online, as the houses will not be avaliable to just existing 
estate tenants, but to EVERYBODY on the housing register regardless of 
where they live, and some are also being sold off to private 
landlords. translation being that just because we already live here 
does nt mean we are guranteed a new build once we have moved away into 
some dodgy hostel or wherever we end up. It all depends on who bids 
first and gets lucky.

     How are we going to afford the rent increase regardless of 
whether we move away, or lease one of the new builds once they are up? 
The whole reason we have a housing association property is because we 
can't afford to private rent. I only know this info because a house we 
bid on several weeks ago as a social housing unit has been taken off 
the register and put back on today as an affordable rent property and 
when we queried it this is what we were told. None of the residents 
here have yet been told that the new builds are going to be affordable 
rents, I only know because I've just been told by the housing officer. 
We were all under the impression that we would be qualifying for 
social housing rents as we are social housing tenants.



A well-established trend already:  See:

Housing Benefit Cuts: Educate, Agitate, Organise!, by Stuart 
Hodgkinson, in Corporate Watch, Magazine 50-51  Autumn-Winter 2011:

see also:
The Neoliberal Project, Privatisation and the Housing Crisis, by 
Stuart Hodkinson in Corporate Watch, Magazine 50-51  Autumn-Winter 

50% rise in homeless families living in B&Bs
by Will Stone, Morning Star, Sept 18th 2012

London housing crisis: the market is distorted but does Boris care?

As foreign investors push house prices beyond the reach of ordinary 
Londoners, the Conservative mayor looks the other way
Tuesday 18 September 2012

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