Month: May 2012

On curbing housing benefit

The Coalition committed itself to reducing the aggregate housing benefit bill, which stood at around £20bn per year when it took office. The seemingly inexorable growth in housing benefit payments had been identified as a problem before the Coalition’s formation. It was one indicator that the housing market […]

Is the quiet man about to turn up the volume?

… no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. I have always taken the use of the term “enslaved” in the Preamble to the Liberal Democrat Federal Constitution to be figurative, given that slavery was formally abolished in England in 1833. But while reading yesterday’s Observer […]

Financing the supply of new housing

[Originally posted at the Guardian Housing Network, 23/05/12] We all agree that Britain needs new homes. A significant shortfall has emerged over many years and the collapse in construction simply piles on further pressure. Increasing supply is central to dealing with some acute problems facing the housing system. […]

Stabilising the Overton window

What determines the size and location of the Overton window? What types of proposals for government action are viewed as acceptable or sensible? Which proposals are viewed as popular enough to make their way into policy? And which proposals are outside the window – viewed as too radical […]

Cramped, crammed and crap

We are heading towards a degree of consensus regarding at least one part of the mess that is the UK’s housing system. Pretty much everyone agrees that there needs to be a significant increase in the supply of new properties. Some have arrived at this view from the […]

Coalition to end in tears?

An interesting piece by Vernon Bogdanor on the future of the Coalition has just appeared online. His main point is that both Coalition parties are having to look out for their increasingly restless grassroots: Tories pulling to the right, LibDems pulling to the left. And this destabilises the […]

Beds, sheds, and regs

She is looking forward to returning to Hyderbad, where the living conditions will be much better. Amelia Gentleman, Guardian, 10/05/12 This is the payoff line for an extended article about poor housing in the private rented sector in Newham. The aim is to provoke a reaction.  Conditions are […]