Cruddas on social housing
There's a report in of all places the Mail on Sunday about Jon Cruddas' concerns about social housing.
Assuming they've reported what he said accurately he's right that there is a lack of social housing being built in London at the moment. But:
- he's wrong to say this is "a generic political problem" wider than London and the South East - in fact the problem in some cities is over-supply of cheap housing, leading to empty tinned-up houses on fairly new estates which then slide into decay - this is why some northern councils are actively seeking to get tenants from Hackney and other inner London boroughs to transfer and live in bigger homes outside London
- it definitely isn't a problem as he is quoted as saying that "access to housing is becoming racialised because of a lack of supply." I'm surprised he would repeat this dangerous myth being put about by the far right. The truth is that most of the ethnic minority residents arriving on council estates in Jon's borough of Barking & Dagengham are not impoverished asylum seekers getting housed by the council because they are in housing need - they are people with jobs (often if they are Asian or West African highly qualified with degrees) who are moving out of the inner city and buying properties as home-owners from 1st generation white right-to-buyers who are moving on out to dearer places like Canvey Island or Billericay. These people aren't reducing the social housing stock in London if they are buying homes that already were owner-occupied - they are freeing up the social housing they have vacated further into the city. The problem is a cultural one - some white people in outer London need to get their heads round the fact that there are black and other ethnic minority people who have better paid jobs than they do and hence can buy houses in the suburbs.