Image via WikipediaMe and my wife tried to get a council house more than 20 years ago but were basically told that we haven't a chance in hell. So we had to purchase in a completely new area as where we lived is considered an affluent area and house prices reflected this. Basically even with both working we couldn't afford anything. We eventually moved about 18 miles away leaving family, friends and our roots.
Move forward a couple of years and we considered moving house. A visit to a mortgage broker exposed us to what I then saw as an unsustainable aspect of the housing market. House prices were high and the ability for many to meet the lenders requirements was becoming more difficult. The lenders couldn't reduce their criteria any more than they had so they changed tack. We were offered what was called a 'self-certificated' mortgage. The upshot is that you lie through your teeth about how much you earn and then you lie lie about your ability to repay.
It was a way to artificially sustain the climb in house prices, and was a portent of the crisis to come.
Anyways, this leads to my thoughts about housing and what I'd like to see done.
For me housing is a basic human necessity and right. It's a fundamental support for family and community cohesion. It's too basic a need and too special to be treated as a commodity or a way of 'making money' and definitely shouldn't have anything to do with the financial spivs and parasites. As such I think the profit motive associated with housing needs to be removed. But how?
- remove the profit aspect through fiscal means, taxation etc
- remove the house from the personal estate
- bring all housing under 'social' control
- allowing owners to transfer their house to the council and then rented back to them at sustainable rates
- a massive drive in social housing construction to reduce the price of private property