Tory social housing crisis as number of homeless households hits 12-year high

Remember when the Conservatives said they would halve homelessness by 2022, and end it altogether by 2027?

I bet the Tories wish you didn’t!

New figures show the number of households considered newly homeless has risen by 3,000 in the last three months – raising homelessness to its highest level since 2007.

And the housing shortage has forced 130,000 families to live in one-bedroom flats.

There is a simple answer to both these problems: Build more social housing.

Ah, but that isn’t profitable for Tories, is it?

I can picture the scene now – some Tory economic ‘guru’ claiming that if you limit the supply of housing, it forces the price up and landlords make a tidy profit.

(It reminds me of the firm that told my brother – yes, BeastRabban himself – that getting into debt was a great incentive to make more money. He told them they were quite clearly madder than a hornet in a coke can and quit the company on the spot.)

You see, it’s all very well having expensive accommodation for private rent – but absolutely no good if people can’t afford it. You just end up with loads of empty flats.

But the ideology of it means no social housing gets built – or at least, not enough.

No wonder there was a huge drive to get sick and disabled people out of their homes – no matter how many special adaptations had been added to them. Remember that?

What concerns This Writer most of all is the fact that the increase in homelessness comes after hundreds of homeless people were shown to have died.

Somebody should tell the Tories, greedy and stupid is not attractive.

Here are the figures, for those who need that sort of thing before they’ll believe the story:

“A total of 84,740 households were in bed and breakfasts, hostels and other temporary accommodation at the end of March this year, including 126,020 children, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said. It is the highest number of such households since mid-2007 and compares with a low of 48,010 in 2010.

“Between January and March this year, 32,740 households were initially assessed as being homeless, up 11.2% from 29,430 in the previous quarter.

“The figures only account for those whom the authorities deem homeless, and charities say the true figure is much higher. Years of austerity, changes to the benefit system and rising rents have led to sustained increases in the number of people made homeless.

“The number of households classified as homeless in rural England almost doubled over the past year, according to an analysis by the Campaign to Protect Rural England. It said 173,584 families were on waiting lists for social housing in areas where councils built just 1,336 homes for social rent in 2018.

“The housing charity Shelter said one household had become homeless every four minutes in England in the last year, and it called on the government to invest in a new generation of social homes.”

The full story is here: Number of households in temporary residence highest since 2007 | Society | The Guardian

And the National Housing Federation supplied the information showing that a severe shortage of homes has put 130,000 families in one-bedroom flats:

“More than one in ten children in England are living in overcrowded homes.

“This comes to a total of around 1.3m children from more than 600,000 families, who are stuck in overcrowded conditions because there is nowhere else for them to live.

“Overcrowding in England has now reached record levels, as around 96,000 more children are living in overcrowded homes compared to a decade ago.

“Homes are said to be ‘overcrowded’ if a child has to share their bedroom with two or more other children, sleep in the same room as their parents, or share with a teenager of the opposite sex.

  • “Just under half of children in overcrowded homes are forced to share a bedroom with their parents – this could affect as many as 627,000 children.
  • “In more than a quarter of overcrowded homes, children even have to share a bed with a parent or sibling – this could affect as many as 368,000 children.
  • “More than a quarter of parents in overcrowded homes are often forced to sleep in kitchens, bathrooms or hallways because of the lack of space – this could affect as many as 380,000 people.
  • “More than half of parents in overcrowded homes worry that their children aren’t coming home because of how overcrowded it is – this could affect as many as 695,000 children.
  • “Around half of children in overcrowded homes struggle to do their homework because of the lack of space – this could affect as many as 750,000 children. This includes 14% (as many as 190,000 children) who find it totally impossible.

“The main cause of overcrowding is the stark lack of housing in England, especially social housing, which means growing families have nowhere affordable to move to. The country needs around 145,000 new social homes every year, including 90,000 for social rent.”

For the full details of this, see: 130,000 Families Forced To Live In One-Bed Flats, Research Shows

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4 thoughts on “Tory social housing crisis as number of homeless households hits 12-year high

  1. trev

    I was reading the other day about an housing block at the bottom of the road where I used to live that is now going to be converted into a Mosque. It was an Housing Association property consisting of a Victorian semi converted into flats. It was only a few years ago that the HA spent a lot of money renovating the property with new kitchens, bathrooms, and windows, but now they have sold it. It’s not a suitable spot for a Mosque as it is in a residential area with no room for parking & extra traffic, plus there are two or three other Mosques not too far away. Seems a bit strange that Bradford Council has passed this, and that the HA has sold it. I was always hoping that they would sell the property that I was living in as when that happens each tenant is paid £5000 compensation and offered another flat. I knew a few people that had happened to, one guy twice, and that sort of money is not to be sneezed at when you’re a pauper on the dole. But why are HAs flogging off Social Housing?

  2. beastrabban

    This is utterly damning. And I remember how one of the facts trotted out to show how inferior the Soviet system was to our own was that they had a housing shortage themselves, and very many Soviet families were living in one-room flats, or shared apartments with other families. Now the very same thing is one the rise over here, but the Tories are telling us how much better off we are under unfettered Thatcherite capitalism.

    Thanks for including my experience of working for that bunch of, ahem, ‘independent financial advisers’, who I think could reasonably be called rip-off artists. They did indeed tell their employees that getting into debt was a great way of making sure you got up to go to work in the morning. They were grossly immoral. They also told you to sell endowment mortgages to people rather than ordinary, straightforward policies, as you got a bigger commission with those. They really did have the attitude of Gordon Gecko: ‘Greed is right. Greed is good’. They boasted about how much they were earning and wanted you to be just as greedy. And they had absolute contempt for the genuinely desperately poor. I can remember one of the senior staff looking out the window and laughing at a tramp in the park outside. Horrible people. I heard later on that they had all been shut down by both financial regulatory authorities, Lautro and Fimbra. And good riddance. Too bad some of those hedge funds backing Boris don’t go the same way.

  3. wildswimmerpete

    Hi Mike, during her reign Thatcher brought in “Right to Buy” encouraging tenants to buy their properties. Thatcher held the view that council tenants (no housing associations then) always voted Labour. In her blinkered view she thought that after buying their properties they would be come part of the “great property owing democracy” and then vote Tory. That’s why the current Tory excuse for a Government won’t encourage social housing. As we all know, most of those properties bought under Thatcher’s “right to buy” were eventually snapped up by “Buy to Let” slumlords to let at eye-watering rents. Maybot did the same and Fuehrer Johnson is doing the same thing by encouraging housing association tenants to buy their properties and hopefully become good Tory voters.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I take it this history lesson is for people reading This Site who aren’t aware of the history.

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