Instead of building more rented social housing in concentrations on housing estates we should build these as integral parts of all the new-build communities we construct.
Those renting socially-provided housing would then be seen as a part of society and could be taken into the bosom of that society.
If the country actually does need as much as 100,000 extra houses per year for the social rental sector, as has recently been claimed, it would be essential, both from a planning viewpoint and a society one, that those whom are dwelling in them should be located within our communities and not sectioned off as if to be marginalised on separate and distinct estates. Doing that would tend to attract what is bad about those needing such help instead of helping them to become fully fledged members of a truly modern society.
The cost of integrating the social rental sector in the next new housing estates to be constructed would, most likely, be less in financial terms than if building complete estates of social housing, as used to happen in the past.
However, the key thing, should be to provide this housing separately from the present arrangements for private landlords, who let property to those wishing to rent privately.
Of course unlike privately rented housing, rent-levels for social housing ought to be set and collected by councils and/or the housing associations and not by private landlords.
It is likely that rent-levels set by social housing associations should, over time and to a certain extent, influence the rent-levels being set in the private sector and this would be another advantage to having such properties spread within the whole of the housing provision, across Britain.
To bust another myth, it would be crazy to try and apply the ‘Right to Buy’ strategy to all private tenants – as Labour is currently said to be considering, because the housing market now depends upon the supply of this form of housing, to accommodate the bulk of residential tenants needing accommodation for themselves and their families. If the ‘Right to Buy’ strategy was applied, large swaths of privately rented housing would, if not sold to tenants, simply be withdrawn by the owners and disappear overnight, leaving a serious supply shortage for those currently unable to buy houses outright or qualify for social housing. This, sadly, would repeat past failures if attempted. Anyone who thinks otherwise, arguably doesn’t fully understand the complexities of the housing marketplace operating in Britain today and I would be happy to debate this.
For full information about what it is that I am advocating ought to be done instead, please see:
Peter Hendry, Author:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution previously The Hendry Solution
How to best improve the Housing Market in England and Wales.