Westminster expects 5,000 families to be evicted by housing benefit cuts – and it’s happening almost everywhere. Councils have no choice as they frantically search for cheap housing, often hundreds of miles away. In Hull the bedroom tax hits 4,700 families with a spare room, and only 73 small properties free.
Well, you know, I’m just not sure about that. I really would be surprised if in a city as large as Hull there are only 73 empty houses.
Mr Miliband said: “The policy is not just unfair, it is not going to work either.
“In Hull, 4,700 people are going to be hit by the bedroom tax and there are just 73 council properties for them to move to.”
Now that is rather different, isn’t it? RightMove seems to have 500 houses to let today. And that of course won’t be the entire supply available (that doesn’t even include flats at that site) in the city.
Further, of course a council house is not the same as “affordable housing” or even “social housing”. Here is the list of housing associations which have properties to let in Hull.
There may well only be 73 council properties available to let. But that’s got pretty much fuck all to do with the availability of affordable housing in the place.
The truly gorgeous part of this story is of course this:
Large areas of former urban authorities, including Newcastle in the north east, Birmingham in the midlands and Ms Bartlett’s home city of Hull on the Humber were being afflicted with what policy analysts and academics called market failure. Unpopular areas of towns and cities, streets and housing estates, were being abandoned in their droves by residents willing and able to escape the terminal decay that had set in.
Labour’s favoured solution, as trumpeted by then deputy prime minister John Prescott, was to set up and fund the pathfinders to fix these failing housing markets. Many of the areas earmarked for rejuvenation, including Greek Street in Hull where Ms Bartlett rented her three-bedroom house, were considered by the pathfinders as beyond help: their favoured, expensive and often controversial solution was to demolish and rebuild; to rejig the housing market from scratch.
In Hull alone 1,031 homes have been bought with government cash from homeowners and landlords. The pathfinder programme as a whole has seen 21,765 homes acquired and 20,586 knocked down, according to Homes and Communities Agency figures.
The fat fucker decided to increase the supply of homes by knocking down homes. Is it any wonder that there’s a shortage of homes?