Help to Buy drives the widening gulf between house prices and earnings

In a recent letter to the Swindon Advertiser I quoted the price of a median house in Swindon increasing to £230,000. Since then I have found the statistics of prices for existing dwellings and new builds. The increase in Swindon for both types is extraordinary. In September 2020 the median new build house was £339,000, … Continue reading Help to Buy drives the widening gulf between house prices and earnings

BFAWU (Bakers Union) affiliates to the Labour Campaign for Council Housing

The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union has affiliated to the Labour Campaign for Council Housing. General Secretary Sarah Woolley told us: “The union the executive discussed the importance of council housing, the maintenance of them, and the impact that selling off council housing has had on the ability of our members to benefit from … Continue reading BFAWU (Bakers Union) affiliates to the Labour Campaign for Council Housing

Briefing: improving the decent homes standard requires funding

The government is reviewing the DHS, ostensibly to assess whether or not it needs to be improved. It appears, however, that it is trying to avoid the thorny question of funding. If you are considering improving the standard there is a financial cost. Councils could not implement improvements without additional funding. The review, whatever the … Continue reading Briefing: improving the decent homes standard requires funding

Queen’s speech: planning reforms denounced as ‘complete disaster’

From Local Government Chronice Planning reforms included in today’s Queen’s speech have been denounced as a “complete disaster in the making” that will lead to "more slum housing built to maximise profits" by one of the country's leading sector bodies. The government today said a planning bill will create a “simpler, faster and more modern … Continue reading Queen’s speech: planning reforms denounced as ‘complete disaster’

Labour must challenge the Tories under-funding of existing council housing

Housing Revenue Accounts (HRAs) manage council housing. They receive no subsidy. Their income is overwhelmingly from tenants' rent and service charges; 94% of the collective income of all HRAs. The quality of the homes, and hence the living conditions of tenants, depends upon key housing components (bathrooms, kitchens, central heating, roofs etc) being renewed in … Continue reading Labour must challenge the Tories under-funding of existing council housing

No large scale council house building programme without central government grant and an end to RTB

Each year those local authorities with council housing send in a host of statistics relating to their stock to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. Amongst other things they tell us how many homes have been built or bought, how many homes have been sold under right to buy or demolished. I have … Continue reading No large scale council house building programme without central government grant and an end to RTB

Back to the future in local authority housing?

Grant funding, the Housing Revenue Account and Local Housing Companies Martin Wicks (Labour Campaign for Council Housing) and Paul Watt (Birkbeck,University of London & LCCH) are presenting a paper at the 2021 Housing StudiesAssociation Conference - Preparing for the future and learning from the past - onThursday 15th April. Conference information is available here:https://www.housing-studies-association.org/pages/140-hsa-2021-conference The … Continue reading Back to the future in local authority housing?

Right to Buy receipts should only be used to fund council housing

The Labour Campaign for Council Housing believes that Right To Buy should be ended. It has been a disaster. It is one of the main reasons for the acute shortage of council housing1. But so long as the policy remains in place then the receipts from sales should only be used to fund building council … Continue reading Right to Buy receipts should only be used to fund council housing

Regeneration of new Kingshold estate

Pat Turnbull, a council tenant transferred to a housing association, explains the experience of regeneration of her estate in Hackney, and the problems it created.Our New Kingshold estate in Hackney was knocked down and rebuilt in the 1990s. The number of homes was reduced from 800 to 488. While we had been an estate entirely … Continue reading Regeneration of new Kingshold estate