Housing shortage? Blame Thatcher

The Northern Echo: RIGHT-TO-BUY: Margaret Thatcher RIGHT-TO-BUY: Margaret Thatcher

THE loss of nearly 150,000 cheaper homes for rent across the region lies at the heart of its housing crisis, ministers were warned last night.

The number of council and housing association homes has plunged by 36 per cent in the 30 years since Margaret Thatcher introduced the right-to-buy policy figures have revealed.

Even that huge fall masked much bigger declines in parts of the North-East – particularly in County Durham (48.6 per cent), Stockton (36.7 per cent) and Redcar and Cleveland (34.5 per cent).

In total, there are now only 264,525 social housing properties across the North-East and North Yorkshire, down from nearly 415,000 back in 1981.

Meanwhile, waiting lists for housing have rocketed because, critics argue, the homes that were sold off have not been replaced.

The statistics were published as the Government ordered the sale of up to £10bn of publicly-owned land – around hospitals, schools, military bases and roads – to allow 100,000 homes to be built.

Whitehall departments and local councils will be required to identify surplus land, some of which will be sold under a build now, buy later deal, allowing cash-strapped developers to pay up once the homes are completed.

But Shelter, the charity for the homeless, questioned how many of the homes would be affordable for low-earners – given the need for the Treasury to maximise its profits from land sales.

Campbell Robb, its chief executive, said: “We have 1.8 million households on waiting lists, more and more families stuck in an insecure private rented sector and millions priced out of the housing market.

“A lack of affordable housing is the root cause. It is absolutely essential that local authorities start prioritising spending on housing delivery to meet need.”

Last week, young people were dubbed Generation Rent, because so many believed they would never be able to afford to get on the property ladder – making renting more likely.

The Northern Echo: Social Housing 'Collapse' Table

Comments (20)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:14am Wed 8 Jun 11

Copley23 says...

And even more worrying is the local authorities inability to agree on what is 'need' and what is 'want'........all of them using different figures that are not robust when exposed to scrutiny......only the very good local authorities will get it right. My guess is that given council mergers across the region, they will be far too busy fighting and back-biting and self-protecting to properly address the problem.
And even more worrying is the local authorities inability to agree on what is 'need' and what is 'want'........all of them using different figures that are not robust when exposed to scrutiny......only the very good local authorities will get it right. My guess is that given council mergers across the region, they will be far too busy fighting and back-biting and self-protecting to properly address the problem. Copley23
  • Score: 0

11:03am Wed 8 Jun 11

George BA says...

how many houses have been built since Thatchers days?, only for people to move upwards in the housing market and leave their grotty terraced houses to be let to people I am obliged to call neighbours.

You cant have your cake and eat it!who said that? we are all paying the price of our own greed.
how many houses have been built since Thatchers days?, only for people to move upwards in the housing market and leave their grotty terraced houses to be let to people I am obliged to call neighbours. You cant have your cake and eat it!who said that? we are all paying the price of our own greed. George BA
  • Score: 0

11:16am Wed 8 Jun 11

Steve_2009 says...

You conveniently omit the fact that Labour were in government for 13 years, how many new houses did they build? NONE!!. Perhaps the housing shortage has something to do with the 3.5 million immigrants Labour allowed into the country without consulting the British people. Do these people not require housing? And why did your beloved Labour Party not recind the right to buy if you and your ilk find it so morally reprehensible?
You conveniently omit the fact that Labour were in government for 13 years, how many new houses did they build? NONE!!. Perhaps the housing shortage has something to do with the 3.5 million immigrants Labour allowed into the country without consulting the British people. Do these people not require housing? And why did your beloved Labour Party not recind the right to buy if you and your ilk find it so morally reprehensible? Steve_2009
  • Score: 0

11:17am Wed 8 Jun 11

CTRILEY says...

Thatcher may have been responible for the policy. But since she left office there has been a succession of Goverments and Prime Ministers who had the chance to chnage or reverse this policy, but they didn't.

In fact under New Labour they conned people into transferring Council Owned properties to the Housing Associations. Which are effectively private housing companies run by former Council officials.
Thatcher may have been responible for the policy. But since she left office there has been a succession of Goverments and Prime Ministers who had the chance to chnage or reverse this policy, but they didn't. In fact under New Labour they conned people into transferring Council Owned properties to the Housing Associations. Which are effectively private housing companies run by former Council officials. CTRILEY
  • Score: 0

11:40am Wed 8 Jun 11

George BA says...

quote." how many houses have been built since Thatchers days?, only for people to move upwards in the housing market and leave their grotty terraced houses to be let to people I am obliged to call neighbours."
Maggie Thatcher hasn't been in power since the early nineties.

There has been a lot of house building under both Tories(John Major) and Labour(Blair Brown) just not of the 'social housing need' type which encourages peoples aspirations and leaves people like myself who have always lived in Terrace housing to pick up the pieces when 'investors' buy up cheap housing meant for low class of buyers, only to rent it back to them as social housing.
It certainly has nothing to do with praising one party and condeming the other.

Councils moved their housing stock over to housing associations because they didnt have the funds and were not eligible to apply for the grants that housing associations could apply for to meet decent housing standards improments.
quote." how many houses have been built since Thatchers days?, only for people to move upwards in the housing market and leave their grotty terraced houses to be let to people I am obliged to call neighbours." Maggie Thatcher hasn't been in power since the early nineties. There has been a lot of house building under both Tories(John Major) and Labour(Blair Brown) just not of the 'social housing need' type which encourages peoples aspirations and leaves people like myself who have always lived in Terrace housing to pick up the pieces when 'investors' buy up cheap housing meant for low class of buyers, only to rent it back to them as social housing. It certainly has nothing to do with praising one party and condeming the other. Councils moved their housing stock over to housing associations because they didnt have the funds and were not eligible to apply for the grants that housing associations could apply for to meet decent housing standards improments. George BA
  • Score: 0

11:40am Wed 8 Jun 11

George BA says...

quote." how many houses have been built since Thatchers days?, only for people to move upwards in the housing market and leave their grotty terraced houses to be let to people I am obliged to call neighbours."
Maggie Thatcher hasn't been in power since the early nineties.

There has been a lot of house building under both Tories(John Major) and Labour(Blair Brown) just not of the 'social housing need' type which encourages peoples aspirations and leaves people like myself who have always lived in Terrace housing to pick up the pieces when 'investors' buy up cheap housing meant for low class of buyers, only to rent it back to them as social housing.
It certainly has nothing to do with praising one party and condeming the other.

Councils moved their housing stock over to housing associations because they didnt have the funds and were not eligible to apply for the grants that housing associations could apply for to meet decent housing standards improments.
quote." how many houses have been built since Thatchers days?, only for people to move upwards in the housing market and leave their grotty terraced houses to be let to people I am obliged to call neighbours." Maggie Thatcher hasn't been in power since the early nineties. There has been a lot of house building under both Tories(John Major) and Labour(Blair Brown) just not of the 'social housing need' type which encourages peoples aspirations and leaves people like myself who have always lived in Terrace housing to pick up the pieces when 'investors' buy up cheap housing meant for low class of buyers, only to rent it back to them as social housing. It certainly has nothing to do with praising one party and condeming the other. Councils moved their housing stock over to housing associations because they didnt have the funds and were not eligible to apply for the grants that housing associations could apply for to meet decent housing standards improments. George BA
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Wed 8 Jun 11

CTRILEY says...

George whilst want you're saying is correct, but with all due respect my point is that no effort was made to change the laws, rules and regulations which would have allowed Councils to obtain the similar funding or grant which housing associations can obtain.

Whilst when people were asked if they wanted SBC housing stock transferred over to a Housing Association, I was informed by local Councillors that it was going to happen whether people wanted it or not, because the Gov. wanted it.

Now I attended a public meeting concerning the then proposed transfer and the spokesman, then the regenartaion manager for SBC, not only stated it would lead to Gov. money which would be used to provide new housing. But this new houses though owned by the Housing Assocation would be for sale at £180,000 min each.

Shortly afterwards it was revealed within Spennynews that the terms of transfer meant that the housing Association couldn't build on green belt land owned by the council, but they could build on brown belt land.
This not only means that the only land they can build on are the industrial estates.

On one former industrial estate a housing estate is already being built, with another planned for Merrington Lane. But when that land was sold for housing development, firms located their have had no choice but relocate taking jobs with them. Those which are still there, remain so because of the credit crunch stopping construction work there.

Whilst this diverts from the main point, but my point is that not only did the previous Gov. make no effort to change the laws relating to housing, but public money has been used to support the private housing sector at the expense of jobs.
George whilst want you're saying is correct, but with all due respect my point is that no effort was made to change the laws, rules and regulations which would have allowed Councils to obtain the similar funding or grant which housing associations can obtain. Whilst when people were asked if they wanted SBC housing stock transferred over to a Housing Association, I was informed by local Councillors that it was going to happen whether people wanted it or not, because the Gov. wanted it. Now I attended a public meeting concerning the then proposed transfer and the spokesman, then the regenartaion manager for SBC, not only stated it would lead to Gov. money which would be used to provide new housing. But this new houses though owned by the Housing Assocation would be for sale at £180,000 min each. Shortly afterwards it was revealed within Spennynews that the terms of transfer meant that the housing Association couldn't build on green belt land owned by the council, but they could build on brown belt land. This not only means that the only land they can build on are the industrial estates. On one former industrial estate a housing estate is already being built, with another planned for Merrington Lane. But when that land was sold for housing development, firms located their have had no choice but relocate taking jobs with them. Those which are still there, remain so because of the credit crunch stopping construction work there. Whilst this diverts from the main point, but my point is that not only did the previous Gov. make no effort to change the laws relating to housing, but public money has been used to support the private housing sector at the expense of jobs. CTRILEY
  • Score: 0

12:25pm Wed 8 Jun 11

Freshstep Drive says...

Thatcher should be praised really. Gave people a chance to own their own property and spend money on doing it up! I bet a lot of them swapped to gas central heating instead of those old coal fires.
Thatcher should be praised really. Gave people a chance to own their own property and spend money on doing it up! I bet a lot of them swapped to gas central heating instead of those old coal fires. Freshstep Drive
  • Score: 0

1:19pm Wed 8 Jun 11

MrMorden says...

News flash...Thatcher left office in 1990, just over 20 YEARS AGO. So she is to blame for letting people buy their council homes. Err what about the people that bought them, are we blaming them as well.

Shocking people wanting to own their own home, whatever next.....
News flash...Thatcher left office in 1990, just over 20 YEARS AGO. So she is to blame for letting people buy their council homes. Err what about the people that bought them, are we blaming them as well. Shocking people wanting to own their own home, whatever next..... MrMorden
  • Score: 0

1:34pm Wed 8 Jun 11

Dean M says...

Steve_2009 wrote:
You conveniently omit the fact that Labour were in government for 13 years, how many new houses did they build? NONE!!. Perhaps the housing shortage has something to do with the 3.5 million immigrants Labour allowed into the country without consulting the British people. Do these people not require housing? And why did your beloved Labour Party not recind the right to buy if you and your ilk find it so morally reprehensible?
Spot on. Many of our low-skilled jobs are taken by immigrants, so these people are more likely to need social housing.
.
These Labour luvvies won't look at themselves though; it's much more convenient to try and blame Mrs T for anything, everything and forever.
[quote][p][bold]Steve_2009[/bold] wrote: You conveniently omit the fact that Labour were in government for 13 years, how many new houses did they build? NONE!!. Perhaps the housing shortage has something to do with the 3.5 million immigrants Labour allowed into the country without consulting the British people. Do these people not require housing? And why did your beloved Labour Party not recind the right to buy if you and your ilk find it so morally reprehensible?[/p][/quote]Spot on. Many of our low-skilled jobs are taken by immigrants, so these people are more likely to need social housing. . These Labour luvvies won't look at themselves though; it's much more convenient to try and blame Mrs T for anything, everything and forever. Dean M
  • Score: 0

1:52pm Wed 8 Jun 11

tomtopper says...

Re steve_2009 & Dean M: I couldn't agree with you more guys... What's old Thatch going to get blamed for next? The plague? The great fire of London? She done more to liberate the poor than anyone, I mean who now, would want to be permantley stuck in a social housing situation with the only job prospect of being stuck down the pit? The problem is, social housing hasn't been managed correctly since...
Re steve_2009 & Dean M: I couldn't agree with you more guys... What's old Thatch going to get blamed for next? The plague? The great fire of London? She done more to liberate the poor than anyone, I mean who now, would want to be permantley stuck in a social housing situation with the only job prospect of being stuck down the pit? The problem is, social housing hasn't been managed correctly since... tomtopper
  • Score: 0

10:49pm Thu 9 Jun 11

BMD says...

A typical "RED ROBB" article, when will this left wing journalist address the failings of his beloved former 'New Labour' Government.
.
If the immigration flood gates had not been burst wide open by Labour, the social housing, youth unemployment and the national welfare benefit payments would be much less of a burden.
.
How many single mothers are receiving housing benefit at the expense of the taxpayer? When surely it is the responsibility of the single mothers own parents and family to provide support.
A typical "RED ROBB" article, when will this left wing journalist address the failings of his beloved former 'New Labour' Government. . If the immigration flood gates had not been burst wide open by Labour, the social housing, youth unemployment and the national welfare benefit payments would be much less of a burden. . How many single mothers are receiving housing benefit at the expense of the taxpayer? When surely it is the responsibility of the single mothers own parents and family to provide support. BMD
  • Score: 0

9:44am Fri 10 Jun 11

CTRILEY says...

"How many single mothers are receiving housing benefit at the expense of the taxpayer? When surely it is the responsibility of the single mothers own parents and family to provide support.”

How many single mothers were made so because of divorce, or as the result of death through illness, accident or fighting overseas wars?
"How many single mothers are receiving housing benefit at the expense of the taxpayer? When surely it is the responsibility of the single mothers own parents and family to provide support.” How many single mothers were made so because of divorce, or as the result of death through illness, accident or fighting overseas wars? CTRILEY
  • Score: 0

4:47pm Fri 10 Jun 11

Lifetime Townie says...

Thatcher was a wonderful PM and the present lot should model their ideas on hers. Anyone can arrange the numbers to ridicule her but a broad look over her reign says she was great!
Thatcher was a wonderful PM and the present lot should model their ideas on hers. Anyone can arrange the numbers to ridicule her but a broad look over her reign says she was great! Lifetime Townie
  • Score: 0

7:32pm Fri 10 Jun 11

BMD says...

CTRILEY Comments:- "How many single mothers were made so because of divorce, or as the result of death through illness, accident or fighting overseas wars?"
.
But how many are fresh out of school or plan to be a single parents so they can live on benefits and handouts?
CTRILEY Comments:- "How many single mothers were made so because of divorce, or as the result of death through illness, accident or fighting overseas wars?" . But how many are fresh out of school or plan to be a single parents so they can live on benefits and handouts? BMD
  • Score: 0

8:41pm Fri 10 Jun 11

spragger says...

Another good bit of balanced reporting by RedRob.
Im sure all those Council House tenants who had the rare choice to purchase a house they had already spent a lot of money on will agree with him.
As is said Labour built NO social housing in their 13 long years.

An explosion of single folk looking for accomodation has caused a housing problem but is it the families problem, or the taxpayers?
Another good bit of balanced reporting by RedRob. Im sure all those Council House tenants who had the rare choice to purchase a house they had already spent a lot of money on will agree with him. As is said Labour built NO social housing in their 13 long years. An explosion of single folk looking for accomodation has caused a housing problem but is it the families problem, or the taxpayers? spragger
  • Score: 0

8:50am Sat 11 Jun 11

CTRILEY says...

BMD wrote:
CTRILEY Comments:- "How many single mothers were made so because of divorce, or as the result of death through illness, accident or fighting overseas wars?" . But how many are fresh out of school or plan to be a single parents so they can live on benefits and handouts?
I don't know, but the point of my comment is that it's wrong to assume that all single mothers became so in order to live on benefits and handouts.
[quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: CTRILEY Comments:- "How many single mothers were made so because of divorce, or as the result of death through illness, accident or fighting overseas wars?" . But how many are fresh out of school or plan to be a single parents so they can live on benefits and handouts?[/p][/quote]I don't know, but the point of my comment is that it's wrong to assume that all single mothers became so in order to live on benefits and handouts. CTRILEY
  • Score: 0

1:28pm Sat 11 Jun 11

Well hello says...

Across County Durham, DCC & Housing Associations & private landlords run a scheme called 'Durham Key Options' basically it is a web-site that every Thursday release's properties across the entire County of Durham for prospective tenants to bid upon eligible properties.

There appears to actually be a surplus of homes, flats, sheltered accommodation etc. in the county, as many properties don't receive any bids.

I have noticed that in East Durham, people seem not to be as fussy & most properties seem to receive bids, yet in eg. central and more southern areas of the county, many flats remain vacant, as people seek out better area's.

In my opinion County Durham hasn't got a shortage of housing , it actually has a glut housing, if the 'Durham Key Options' web-site paints a true picture?
Across County Durham, DCC & Housing Associations & private landlords run a scheme called 'Durham Key Options' basically it is a web-site that every Thursday release's properties across the entire County of Durham for prospective tenants to bid upon eligible properties. There appears to actually be a surplus of homes, flats, sheltered accommodation etc. in the county, as many properties don't receive any bids. I have noticed that in East Durham, people seem not to be as fussy & most properties seem to receive bids, yet in eg. central and more southern areas of the county, many flats remain vacant, as people seek out better area's. In my opinion County Durham hasn't got a shortage of housing , it actually has a glut housing, if the 'Durham Key Options' web-site paints a true picture? Well hello
  • Score: 0

2:31pm Sat 11 Jun 11

CTRILEY says...

Well hello, good point there are plenty of empty flats and houses on the estate where I live, but it's not just County Durham.

I recall hearing a year ago or so that either Hartlepool or Redcar have housing estates which are practically empty.
Well hello, good point there are plenty of empty flats and houses on the estate where I live, but it's not just County Durham. I recall hearing a year ago or so that either Hartlepool or Redcar have housing estates which are practically empty. CTRILEY
  • Score: 0

11:48pm Sat 11 Jun 11

tomtopper says...

Glut of housing? Don't make me laugh.. there is a reason for available housing... Crime ridden hellholes full of drug addicts and out of control kids.. places where people who have no shame live.. There are the ONLY places available to anyone not playing the system using their kids and the all-time favourite 'depression'.. There is nowhere for decent people
Glut of housing? Don't make me laugh.. there is a reason for available housing... Crime ridden hellholes full of drug addicts and out of control kids.. places where people who have no shame live.. There are the ONLY places available to anyone not playing the system using their kids and the all-time favourite 'depression'.. There is nowhere for decent people tomtopper
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree