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Homelessness will be on the increase!

Mike Lane | 24.08.2004 12:00 | Liverpool | London

Private landlords are now hiking up the rents of their sub standard properties to extortionate levels because they know that councils and RSL's can not cope with the demands of the large influx of young low waged working class families who can not afford to obtain a mortgage anymore. Also take a look at the Echo article link at the foot of the posting.

I did a job for a young working class family today, (I'm self employed because I am black listed) they had just moved into a privately owned four bedroom house (they had four children) in Old Swan. The father had a comparatively good job working as a van driver for Sefton City Council. He told me that they wanted to buy their own house but a mortgage was far beyond their reach because of the high price of four bedroom houses in Liverpool. The man told me that his friend had bought a house just around the corner and was paying £700 per month mortgage and the only reason he could afford such a high mortgage was because both he and his wife had full time jobs.

The man told me that his wife could not work because she had to stay at home and look after their four children, one of which was just a small baby. The man said that, as well as paying a huge deposit, he had to pay £400 per month rent to his private landlord, plus community tax, and that it was a real struggle. He told me that he had his name on the local Housing Association or RSL housing list and that he hoped they would rehouse him within a couple of months and that the house he had just moved into was only temporary. I did not have the heart to tell him that his chances of getting an RSL house, especially a four bedroom one, in the Old Swan area was practically zero, especially now that he had moved into adequate accommodation, even if it cost £100 per week rent.

The above storey is direct proof that young working families are now finding it impossible to afford a mortgage and as such are being forced to rent houses from heartless private landlords who charge extortionate rents because there are not enough council or RSL houses for rent at affordable rents of £50 to £60 per week.

The public housing or council housing is being intentionally transferred to RSL's and the RSL's, with the full knowledge and insistence of the Housing Corporation, are demolishing large swathes of former council estates and using the ground to build what they call mixed social housing, which consists of mainly new builds for sale and only a hand full of new builds for rent, i.e. out of every 100 new houses that will be built on this former public sector land (land that belonged to council tenants before transfer) three quarters will be for sale and a quarter will be for rent. In effect we are now witnessing the death of council estates, the RSL rented estates will also end up going down the same path. This situation will get worse as time passes until it reaches a point were there will not be inadequate affordable houses in the rented social housing sector to rehouse the people who can not afford a house, because the houses have risen in price to such an extent that first time buyers, especially single people, will not be earning enough money to buy one. It will reach a stage were the only first time buyers who will be able to afford a house will be the first time buyer who is willing to take out a 35 to 40 year mortgage, this will mean that the first time buyers will be of a very young age. Single people or people in their late thirty's or forty's will not be able to get a mortgage. This is capitalism at its worst, it is as though the estate agents and all the people who are involved in the home buying industry are cutting off their noses to spite their faces and central government's Housing Corporation have stood by and done nothing except give the go ahead for wealthy property developers and builders to steal public land, land that once belonged to the people, and build houses for sale on that land rather than for rent.

The issue of the lack of affordable social housing in the rented sector will get even worse as time goes by. It would seem, even to the most casual observer, that we are defiantly heading back into a Victorian age were people spent most of their wages on rent.

There is a storey in the Liverpool Echo Thursday 23/8/ 04 about a family with four young children who have been forced out of their house by antisocial tenants. One often wonders whether these antisocial tenants are deliberately put into areas by council housing officers and the RSL housing officers on purpose, especially into areas which they want to demolish so as to gentrify. What better a way to get shut of decent tenants and homeowners, just throw a bunch of anti social tenants into the area and over a comparatively short period of time like a cancer they will destroy the whole area. These council and RSL officers have never bothered to devise and put simple structures into place to address the issue of anti social tenants because, as stated, they use them as just another tool to socially cleanse an area of decent tenants and homeowners so that builders, such as Lovels, who are at this present moment building hundreds of houses for sale on former public land in Merseyside were council houses once stood, can come into an area and build houses for sale.

Below is a link to the Echo's web site page that the storey is on. The storey was put together by Echo journalist Mike Hornby. I have dealt with Echo journalist Mike Hornby on a number of occasions and he is one of those journalist who seems to have a social conscience, which is now sadly becoming a rarity amongst many young journalists in this country.

Take a close look at the section of the storey which speak about the homelessness situation in Liverpool and how homelessness amongst families has increased by 44%, which now defiantly indicates that there is a major shortage of council homes and as a result hundreds of families are being forced into hostel accommodation through no fault of their own. This family lived in an area of Liverpool called Speke. At this present moment there has already been mass demolition of council houses in Speak and builders such as Lovels have built many new houses for sale on the former public land. There are now strong indications that the RSL's who have taken over the former council estates are, with the full insistence of central government's Housing Corporation, by using the philosophy of gradualism, are planning to demolish large swaths of council properties so as to obtain the land to build houses for sale on it.

Like most RSL's (especially the larger ones) in Liverpool it is impossible to get in touch with South Liverpool Housing by phone. This inability to get in touch with large RSL housing officers or staff is yet another indication that their tenants are being shut out of the daily running of their RSL. This would indicate that dire times lay ahead for RSL tenants and that the RSL housing officers and the Housing Corporation, as well as being an oppressive force, are defiantly working to a hidden agenda when it comes to the issue of social housing. It is now almost impossible to make contact with the Housing Corporation. You can only leave a message on their answering phone and they almost always never get back in touch with you. As campaigners against social injustice it is our duty to acknowledge what is happening in the rented social housing sector and also to acknowledge the fact that senior RSL housing officers are in effect putting oppressive structures into place which will serve to keep their tenants in the dark as to what is going on in their RSL's and how the RSL's are working with the Housing Corporation and wealthy builders to, in effect, redevelop thousands of acres of former public land to build houses for sale on at prices which are far beyond the low paid working class families income.

Mike Lane
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Display the following 4 comments

  1. Speak? — Des
  2. I can'tspell a thing right! — Mike lane
  3. Text updated — IMC
  4. Confusing — Edseam