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Pro-Homelessness Group Funded By Big Tobacco

By Sara Scarlett
March 14th, 2016 at 6:59 pm | Comments Off on Pro-Homelessness Group Funded By Big Tobacco | Posted in Housing, Uncategorized

Today, in a spat over a letter sent to the Observer by Chief NIMBY Shaun Spiers, of the rapacious pro-homelessness campaign group, CPRE, it was revealed that the CPRE is funded by big tobacco, a number of trusts, an anonymous trust, and host of anonymous donors.

This news was greated somewhat more charitably by IEA scholars than I imagine the accusatory Shaun Spiers would have taken the news had it been the other way around.

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In a somewhat pityful follow-up blog post, NIMBY High Wizard Shaun Spiers, explains CPRE funding, though did not reveal who the pro-homelessness group’s large anonymous donors were. The IEA also reveals the trusts who give it money but not the individual donors making it somewhat similar in transparency to the CPRE in this respect.

Regardless of their funding, the policies adovocated by the CPRE continue to contribute to the shortage of housing, misery, and homelessness which is currently plaguing my generation. They are a national disgrace.


New Labour’s Cruel Housing Legacy

By Sara Scarlett
November 20th, 2013 at 8:48 pm | 5 Comments | Posted in Housing

Under New Labour the population increased due to immigration and an ageing population but they deliberately restricted house building effectively pricing a generation out of home ownership.

Don’t get me wrong – I am a fervent supporter of immigration. Labour markets should be as free as all others should be free. More pressingly this country has a Welfare State structured like a ponzi scheme. Ergo, without immigrants over the age of 21, or the massive fundamental overhaul of the Welfare State that this government has neither the courage nor the appetite to follow through, services as most know them will cease to exist.

The building of social housing started to decline under Thatcher and New Labour ensured the development of social housing at about the same slightly dismal rate. For New Labour to open Labour markets to immigrants, whilst simultaneously restricting house building in the private sector and not factoring in an ageing population, is not just bad policy – it is down right cruel.

With two healthy Graduate salaries, my boyfriend and I can not afford the house my father could afford on a single salary at the same age. He had no degree and a wife and two children at the time. I feel more privileged than my parents in every other way and I know we’re better-off than a great many people our age. So if we’re struggling with our housing situation then I know a lot of people are too.

Stop blaming immigrants; they’re not the problem. The price of houses is directly linked to lack of supply. Had bread increased in price at the same rate as house prices, a loaf would cost just under £5. I’m pretty sure if bread were in such short supply that it was this expensive there’d be riots in the streets. There are millions of houses that do not exist thanks to continually piss poor housing policy since the end of WWII.

Alas, things look like they’re going to continue. The Help-to-Buy scheme is the policy equivalent of “You have been diagnosed with full-blown AIDS – take two aspirin and get a good nights rest.” Cheap mortgages are little comfort when the houses we need simply don’t exist.

Living in a Bubble

By Sara Scarlett
August 24th, 2013 at 2:42 pm | 2 Comments | Posted in Housing

In the past two weeks, I’ve read at least three articles in the London commuter papers with headlines like ‘Buying in a Bubble’ or ‘How to beat the Bubble.’ House prices are picking up and that’s not a good thing. Interests rates are artificially low and when they rise many on George Osbourne’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme may well be caught out (unless they factored this inevitable rise into their financial plans).

Low interest rates mean more [less responsible] borrowing which pushes house prices artificially high – it also means that saving for a deposit is significantly harder unless you’re very well paid. The ‘Help to Buy’ scheme is a shocking government policy which politely glosses over the fact that house are too expensive. The reason houses are too expensive is because of a lack of supply. So rather than tackling the real issue – a lack of supply in the housing market – this government has instigated a policy of cheap government loans. It defies belief. Talk about taking about skirting around the issue…

There’s also the issue of the ‘Bedroom Tax’ which, as has been recently clarified by the courts, is not a tax. I understand the intentions of the policy – wanting to property to be used more effectively. However, I have a great deal of empathy with the complaints of individuals who rely on social housing and would like to move to a smaller flat but can’t because there are no smaller flats to move too. There are so few one bedroom council flats/houses. This leads back to the same problem as formerly mentioned – lack of housing supply.

Unless land is abundantly freed up for both private and government development – my generation is in for a great deal of misery. I do not understand why the government is just hanging on to land in prime areas preventing it from being developed upon. It makes no sense.

I am 25 years old and I have no idea where I will be living in five years time. A home of my own may be a dream out of my reach. Renting is expensive and I’d like to save for a deposit but the Bank of England seems hell bent on inflating my savings away. It’s enough to make anyone want to buy gold and stash it under the bed… But you need your own bed to do that!