Mental Rental

There are many traits of British culture that have had me question my suitability for living in these isles. One of the biggest and most ingrained is the desire to own your own home.

In my opinion it’s distorted everything from wages, played a factor in the postcode lottery outcome for services and contributed greatly to the rise in welfare costs (welfare itself in the guise of job seekers allowance has actualy decreased over time (mind you so have wages), it’s the cost of housing and naturally housing benefit that has soared) .

It’s ironic that a quarter of a century after the political moves to increase home ownership and sell off council housing stock that the attainability of a mortage is at the lowest since records began.

Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity has predicted that Britain will become a begrudging nation of renters.

Of course in Europe renting is more the norm but then tennants have greater rights than in the UK and access to mortages has been strictly controlled.

We seem to be entering a worst of all possible worlds situation re housing in the UK as access to dwindling social housing and eligibility to remain in those properties will no doubt be further weakened over the next five years whilst the dream of home ownership evaporates for many and the reality of the private rental sector is shared by many more.

I still can’t understand the reticence for rental price controls. A misguided belief that ‘the market’ will provide the answers? Does anybody still believe that kind of guff?

Image by Zen under this creative commons licence

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