Yesterday the problems facing the English housing system got some much needed airtime. Channel 4 is performing an important service in raising the profile of some of the most pressing issues. Perhaps a week focusing on housing problems can really give the debate some momentum.
Last night’s first offering was Dispatches’ continuing investigation of rogue landlords. Then we had The Great British Property Scandal, looking at the coincidence of Empty Homes and housing needs that are either going unmet or are met through grossly inadequate accommodation.
Dispatches provided some vivid illustrations of the appalling conditions to be found in temporary accommodation and at the bottom end of the private rented sector. Cockroaches, bedbugs, dodgy wiring, streaming damp, mouldy carpets and leaky slates – all were clearly in evidence. There were also illustrations of the less tangible risks of poor management and fears for personal safety. [Read more...]