Consider the following:
- Property prices are astronomical in many areas, in particular London, and are completely beyond the reach of many ‘ordinary’ people on average salaries
- Many low paid or averagely paid jobs are essential to the running of our cities – nurses, admin staff, teachers, bus drivers, waiters, chefs, and so on. However these people are finding it increasingly hard to find an affordable place to live
- Traditionally, low income workers and families were able to find modest cost accommodation in the social housing sector. So if social housing is no longer available – where are they to live?
- Under the right to buy – tenants who are already fortunate in having a social housing property to rent, are able to buy it at a substantial discount – is it fair that they should have this financial windfall at the expensive of the public sector which we all pay for?
- Around 40% of properties sold under the ‘right to buy’ end up in the hands of private landlords – and are then often rented back to the type of people who would probably have lived there as a social housing property, but at a considerably higher rent. Which we are all effectively paying, if the tenant is on benefit.
- One of the reasons why property prices are so high in places like London is that foreign investors are buying into the property market and driving up the prices. Frequently these ‘investment’ properties are then left empty
- Builders often cannot afford to build property for low income families as the sale price would not allow them to make a profit – which is why much new building is aimed at foreign investors who are able to pay these prices. Only social landlords are able to build for low income families.
- Sources such as the Panama Papers suggest that many properties are purchased by offshore companies – and may be being used to launder money. Further, many people who purchase high cost British property pay no tax in this country.
- The demise of social housing is being driven by the Tories who appear to want to promote home ownership at the expense of all other forms of tenure. One reason for this is that they believe that home-owners are more likely to vote Tory.
- Although the Conservatives have a majority in the House, in fact only about 24-37% of the population actually voted for them.
- There are also election fraud claims over many of the Conservative election campaigns – which puts the fairness of those election results into question.
Taking all these points into account – is it right and fair that the Conservatives should be allowed to dismantle the social housing system and sell off the social housing which we have all paid for through our taxes over the past 50 years or so?
And if not – what can be done about it?