Compass\’ new thinking on social housing

Linking future funding for social housing
to reducing tenure-based inequality and
increasing asset ownership by creating a
national Tenants Mutual to oversee tenants’
asset accounts. This would help restore the
self-esteem of tenants and the reputation
of social housing, while tackling financial
exclusion and creating an asset-owning
democracy.

Yup.

Social housing should be sold off. Except not to any individuals, oh no, that would be far too Thatcherite and neoliberal. Instead we should have a luvvey dovvey mutual organisation. 6 million people all owning a share in it is really going to produce an asset-owning democracy, isn\’t it?

And not once do they mention opportunity cost: which is a bit of a blow for anyone attempting to be taken seriously on the subsidies to social housing.

10 thoughts on “Compass\’ new thinking on social housing”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Well you have to admit it is an improvement. They have gone from thinking the Stalinist model of central control is best to thinking that collective farms are better.

    In 20 years time perhaps they will conceed individual ownership is even better still.

  2. Michael Jennings

    Actually, in a lot of cases I would go for social housing being blown up rather than sold off, but that’s just me.

  3. And the reason they can’t just set up a mutual to compete with the State social housing is?

  4. Ian

    That involves doing something, rather than just pontificating. That’s why, These people are not doers.

  5. @ Ian B
    i) because New Labour decreed that all council tenants, however wealthy (don’t mention Bob Crowe), should only pay half the market rent thus requiring massive subsidies (i.e. equal to the rent paid) by council tax-payers. [Note that Compass’ stooges lie by saying that the increase to 80% of market rents for new tenants applied across the board].
    A mutual, by definition, has to pay its own way, not just half of its cost
    ii) The new mutual would have to build (or buy) some houses in order to let them and that would require a few £billion out of thin air or voluntary donations by champagne socialists (the Millionairebands, Geoffrey Robinson, Sainsbury, Nat Rothschild etc) and a lot of hard work.
    iii) In a mutual, the tenants’ assets would get cashed in when they died but in this scheme these non-cash assets are going to be (pooled and) used as cash (how?) to pay for building new houses so when the tenant dies his/her assets is a tiny %age of umpteen houses in social ownership with negative cash flows attaching to them as subsidised rents fail to cover attaching costs.

  6. “…would help restore the
    self-esteem of tenants…”

    Eh? Why is this a problem? More specifically, why is this a problem for anyone else but the tenants themselves to solve?

  7. And Julia, what a right-wing assumption from Compassers!

    I, despite eating babies, never thought there was anything wrong wiv livin on a cancil ‘state, nor anyfink to be ‘shamed of.

    Leave my self-esteem out of this you compassers

  8. Phew … I’m watching some green field “affordable homes” (a sort of “social housing”) being put up by politically connected corporate developers. solar panels pointing into deep space etc – in an area where you can buy a 3 bed 60s improved estate house for <£180K these newbuilds are costing the "not for profit" ex local council housing dept expensively rebranded as a housing association £200K each and that's with the fucking council *giving* them the land…

    It's a pea under the cup game with public funds. A decent house can be built for just over half what these twats are paying (never mind the "free" land).

    What happened to self build ? Ah right… low bureaucracy quotient, lower cost, local labour, they get maintained, equity gains/profits go to the local owners, the prices are higher, self build areas are generally better neighborhoods…

    The occupants of some social housing in the local area should be demoted to tents.

    Most though not all social housing is a shambles and a mire full of of peculating assholes.

  9. I cannot find the link anymore but someone you used to link to – a crazes socialist – had an idea about a mutual fund buying out london properties…it sounded good but no one was interested….and now I cannot find the link I rhought it was alex hallowell but I am wrong

  10. Had a quick skim through the Compass document & there are points about problems with social housing that are true.
    However.
    It’s the third attempt to invent the square wheel.
    Council housing
    Housing associations
    Mutual housing
    It’ll end up like the other two. They start with the intention of providing affordable accommodation. But then become a political tool. Eventually they don’t serve the interests of the people who need housing.
    With mutual housing it’s easy to predict what will happen. They’ll need administrators & those will come from the already politicized council/housing association world. The tenants’ oversight boards’ll end up stuffed with the usual progressive suspects, who are pally with the administrators. Or be employed administrators in one area & on tenants’ committees in another. The same way as council employees for one council are councilors in another. Ordinary tenants won’t argue because, like council housing or housing association tenants, the penalty of getting yourself on the wrong side of those running the system is to put your home at risk.

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