Tuesday, 23 December 2014


It`s panto

Cyber attacks from North Korea would find it hard to outnumber  David Cameron`s  incentives to push us all on to housing  ladder and, hey presto, solve the housing crisis.
Government subsidies for Help to Buy and similar schemes  are all that is needed to provide that extra shove  to get us on to that magical mortgage ladder we can all climb and get a home. A bit like Jack and the Beanstalk,the stuff of pantomime
Welcome to tjhe mortgage ladder...David Cameron and a new- home couple

Back in the real world where the number of homeless  goes on rising and food banks go on expanding, several councils have resorted to buying back  at full market value some of the homes they sold off at a discount under the right to buy legislation.

The failure  in the past to replace this  sold-off social housing stock has led to a critical shortage of homes, reports The Times  newspaper this week.
The Times  highlights Leeds where the council recently paid nearly £1.24 million for 15 homes it sold over the  past decades for the total sum of £411, 000 at today`s  prices.
Next  year, Leeds plans to buy back a further 100 former council properties under the same scheme.
For The Times, this pantomime  story is what it calls” a huge loss  to the taxpayer.” The homeless, of course, see it  in a vastly different light. No pantomime for them.
Readers of the Times see it differently again. One of those readers in a letter to the editor looks back 30 years to the huge popularity of the sale of council houses when  the policy was announced, and the thousands of votes that policy won for Mrs Thatcher.
But, says that reader, the sale of council houses was nothing more than a private killing for some of us  at the expense of the rest of us. We are now living   with the consequences,  the consequences being   the housing crisis.
Tenants of who bought their council homes were not alone in making a  killing at the expense of the rest of us. Housing associations made a killing too.
They were given Whitehall cash  to take over many of the remaining council houses and are now growing fat in size and profitability under their new guise.
They are now mainly property developers like the much-criticised  Riverside Housing Association of Liverpool which has a near- monopoly of social homes in the Carlisle area.

Community Voice Carlisle is  the blog of Carlisle Tenants` and Residents` Federation Information about the Federation is available  from 01228  527358 or   01228 22277.

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