England’s post-war social housing experiment has failed (not just failing) due to ‘social’ (sic) landlord greed. We need better and urgently

A nurse or other key worker has to spend 50% more in rent payment than mortgage payment – yet we are told social housing is affordable!

Other projections e.g. Halifax, Nationwide, et al confirm these %’s of income on housing costs

Everyone – not just a nurse or other key worker – spends an average 17.8% of their household income on a mortgage yet on average spends 26.6% of the same income on renting a social housing property is what the above chart says (noting that other projections say broadly the same percentages.) It means as an average if the nurse or other key worker net income is £2000 each month then a monthly mortgage payment is £356 yet renting in social housing costs £532 per month and half as much again of their income to rent a social housing property than on mortgage.

We are told social housing is affordable

A series of articles in the Guardian over the last week (here) have focused on the nurse and other key worker not being able to afford to buy or afford a mortgage and in 98% of the UK and seeking, correctly, public outrage at this in relation to key workers we correctly venerate.  If a key worker cant afford to buy then paying 50% more than the mortgage payment to renr in social housing is far more unaffordable! These articles didn’t need to point out the very high cost of renting privately but they failed to discuss the very high cost of social housing that on average is 50% more than a mortgage payment. These articles missed the elephant in the room that social housing is not affordable yet …

We are told social housing is affordable

The Guardian, along with every other news and social media outlet, is fixated on home ownership and also fixated on the high cost of renting privately.  The London-centric media scream loudest given the absurdly high housing costs of buying and privately renting in London YET say nothing about the unacceptably high cost of renting social housing, the cheapest form of housing we have that … We are told is affordable

The narrative is pervasive yet extraordinarily assumptive and errant and not just in the London-centric media, noting that London with 25% of all housing being social rented housing which is coincidentally 50% more than the 16% – 17% of all 8 other regions in England. Yes that does mean London has 50% more social housing than any other English region – NE, NW, Y&H, East, WM, EM, SW and SE – yet the London media narrative ignores!

As we accept that renting privately is unacceptably high cost the narrative assumes and makes the errors of omission and commission that renting socially is affordable and not unacceptably high …

We are told social housing is affordable

Can you imagine if private landlords demanded as right and government policy that rents increase by more than inflation every year as social (sic) landlords demand and have got from government in all but 4 years of the last 40 years including during the pandemic.  Even then the 1% imposed cut was ONLY to the net rent and before service charges that were not subject to a cut.  The result is that overall gross rents (net rent plus service charges) still increased despite the imposed 1% net rent cut!

We are told social housing is affordable

Imagine the outcry if private landlords had a government-backed financial incentive to evict existing tenants to replace them the very next week in the very same property with an average 47% increase in rent?  That accurately describes the affordable (sic) rent regime in social housing and has seen purportedly social landlords convert at least 116,000 properties from the social rent level to the affordable (sic) rent level in the first full 7 years of the Tories Affordable Homes Programme. 

In higher rent areas it has seen 2 bed properties in LB Bromley increase from £112 per week at the social rent level to £335 per week and tripled the rent overnight in the exact same property with the conversion to “affordable” rent. Yet … We are told social housing is affordable!

The social housing concept of it being a safety net for those who cannot afford to buy and social landlords social purpose of it will always has those most in housing need has failed not just failing.  These social purposes no longer exist in what we misterm as social landlords who manage the equally mistermed social housing and the affordable (sic) rent conversions by social landlords in the table below reveal social housing has failed, not just is failing, and directly because of asocial landlord greed

Clarion Housing Group (UK’s largest HA) – Figures from 2017/18 Statistical Data Return see here