Within a minute of Theresa May finishing her conference speech 24Housing released an article at 12:47pm with the sector’s reaction just a few minutes after the PM finished here much trailed speech. A speech that was preannounced to death as to the renaissance of council housing blah, blah, blah!
Due to this time frame the responses were clearly pre-scripted and they are hugely revealing and I call again on David Orr the chief executive of the National Housing Federation to resign as his pre-scripted response is the most revealing of all. Jon Sparkes the chief executive at Crisis should also resign too because of his pre-scripted remarks and what they expose.
David Orr, chief executive at the National Housing Federation, says:
“Today’s announcement is a watershed moment for the nation. “In the aftermath of the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, the prime minister said that we as a nation have not paid enough attention to social housing.
“Today, she is right to make a bold break with the past and commit to building the homes we need most – genuinely affordable homes for those on the lowest incomes.
“The additional £2bn will make a real difference to those let down by a broken housing market. Building homes for social rent will make work pay and help bring down the housing benefit bill in the long run by moving people out of costly private lets.
Watershed and bold is the typical sycophancy you expect yet the announcement was nothing of the sort and I focus on the disingenuous quote that “The additional £2bn will make a real difference …”
£2 billion over what period? We dont know!
£2 billion for what? We don’t know!
£2 billion will make a ‘real difference?’ – No! No! No! In 2014/15 housing associations that David Orr and NHF represent collected some £2.4 billion in rent from tenants over and above inflation in that year alone.
That £2.4 billion which is 20% more than this announcement led to housing associations building less than 4000 new social rent houses in 2015/16.
The detail of that is all here and it exposes the obfuscation and myth of the NHF in their ‘critical friend’ deal with the Tories which was and still is charge the tenant more in rent (revenue subsidy) to mitigate the fact Government no longer gives you capital subsidy.
Between 2010 and 2015 housing association average rents increased by 34% against inflation (CPI) of just under 13% in that time. That is the fact of the matter and demonstrates the rip off the tenant strategy aka affordable (sic) rent aka receycle this added revenue subsidy to create capital subsidy in order to build. This is also euphemistically called the profit-for-purpose model that Matthew Gardiner states in this same article.
Yet call it what the hell you like and it has failed and is a chimera. £2.4 billion in added rent over and above inflation in one year is enough revenue subsidy to build 100,000 social rent houses with a £24,000 recycled capital subsidy.
Housing associations built less than 4% of the scoial rent houses they had the money for in the previous year! So much for profit-for-purpose!
David Orr has played his last Pied Piper tune to the vast majority of housing associations who wish to retain some semblance of social purpose and he should lead the rats out of town as he is the biggest one when it comes to social purpose.
David Orr is deceitfully misleading and is overtly showing his political colours with this £2bn will make a real difference nonsense as the above illustration reveals and he has driven himself and the Nat Fed up this cul-de-sac by getting into bed with the Tories.
He, like many, believed the Tories were the only game in town and yet Corbyn has confounded everyone by making council housing THE housing agenda and put it at the top of the political agenda. Any increase in council housing puts the housing associations back in the insignificant box they belong in terms of house building and which their building record shows starkly.
The Nat Fed has since 2010 placed all its eggs in one political basket and Corbyn has come along holding the biggest whisk to scramble the deluded self-importance of the housing associations. That is why Orr must resign. His political errors and overtly politicised jumping into bed with the Tories has sold the genuine element of social purpose within housing associations down the river – and know he has been well and truly found out.
David Orr quite simply must go.
Jon Sparkes – Chief executive of Crisis must follow.
“This announcement from the government can’t come soon enough, particularly for the hundreds of thousands of people facing homelessness right across the country. “It’s time we come together as a nation to recognise that homelessness is not inevitable, and this would be huge step in the right direction.
“Ensuring that these homes are built and that people in the most vulnerable circumstances have access to them is key to its success. “We’re ready to work with the government to make this work for everyone who needs it most.”
Yet this won’t work and £2 billion is chickenfeed even if it materialises never mind a ...huge step! Instead of such sycophancy the chief executive of any and all homeless organisations must criticise any Government that has more than doubled homelessness and more than doubled rough sleeping. Yet all such national organisations are so embedded and complicit with Government and so reliant on them that they have become scared to criticise. They too put all thier eggs in one political basket and thought Corbyn and Labour was unelectable and now are exposed for what their purpose really is which is self-preservation and not about the people and causes they claim to represent.
What deluded mind does Jon Sparkes at Crisis have if he thinks councils will build the 1 bed properties that single homeless clients need? If £20 billion per year was announced they still would not be built because of Tory housing benefit policy making them non viable financially with the shared accommodation rate and LHA Maxima Cap policies.
The same Crisis who laud the Housing First model out of pure vanity when it costs £34 per hour in support costs and double what is typically paid for homeless support costs now! How many times does great in theory yet totally unworkable in practice have to be said before deluded chief executives actually get around to fact driven projects rather than flights of ivory tower fancy!
The same Crisis who sought kudos and focused 100% on the Homeless Reduction Bill that will only create much higher levels of gatekeeping towards single homeless persons and will make the situation worse not better. That too was a Tory Bill.
Housing improvement? Homeleness improvement? There’s no F in sign