The NuLab government was always talking about ‘affordable housing’. I took this to mean ‘low cost housing available to buy’. Blair, Brown and the others were loath to talk about social housing; it was as if those two words had become profanities.
Dave Hill nails it on the head in his Guardian blog. He writes,
Shelter says that government figures show that the average income of households entering into the “shared ownership” form of LCHO in London is over £33,000 a year and those entering the “shared equity” form is approximately £40,000 a year. When you consider that the average individual wage in London is £28,000 a year you begin to get a sense of how high cost these low cost schemes can be, even for people or households with quite good incomes.
The shared ownership scheme that NuLab rolled out has clearly not solved the housing crisis. There is a reason why the last government and this one are wedded to the idea of shared ownership: it provides good looking figures for the nation’s GDP and makes money for the expanded financial sector.
In the 1930’s, the only people who could afford mortgages were the well-off. The vast majority of working class people rented privately. Some councils such as Liverpool City Council, built huge estates like Norris Green in the 1930’s to house working class families. My grandparents moved from an overcrowded cottage in West Derby to this new estate.
Social tenants pay rent, they are not a drain on the economy as has been suggested by ignorant Conservative ideologues like Hammersmith & Fulham’s Stephen Greenhalgh.