How Has Policy for Social Rented Housing Developed Since 1979?

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9. How has policy for social rented housing developed since 1979?
10. Discuss the intentions and impact of policies for home ownership since 1979.

• Up to the 1970s housing policy was an integral part of the classic welfare state

• With the triumph of private homeownership, government housing policy has all but disappeared,

• broken up into a series of separate measures concerned with

 privatisation

 ‘affordability’ (rents, mortgages and house prices)

 regeneration (raising quality)

 homelessness

Governments in 70s got complacent about housing needs because of
• popularity of home ownership
• success in clearing slums and
• achieving social minimum standards for the majority

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• Such arguments began to take greater precedence over ideological commitment to home ownership, despite Thatcher 's tenacious personal commitment.

• homeownership crisis in early 90s and late 00s with repossessions, arrears and negative equity

• by 1995 Conservative government talking about ‘sustainable home ownership’

• mortgage tax relief slowly phased out by late 1990s

• withdrawal of most of Income Support for Mortgage Interest (ISMI) in early 1990s

• exemption from capital gains tax worth about £13 billion in 2007

see Lloyd (2009) Figure 5

Housing ‘Starts’ In England 1975 1998 2006 ch 125,957 98 288 ha 18,768 16,895 17,498 oo 129,777 131,887 160,118

Social Rented Housing
Most significant measures behind the decline of social rented housing were/are:

council house sales in England: cumulative total 1980 to 2009: 2.1million

• Almost half a million ‘right to buy sales’ since the start of 1997.

• Receipts from council house sales since 1980 totalled £38 billion by April 2006

• virtual ending of investment in new council house building

• 1988-2007: 920,000 council homes transferred to housing associations

• policy of sharply rising rents for social rented housing to introduce quasi-market

Social groups most adversely affected by decline of council housing are/were most dependent on it:
• single women
• divorced/separated women

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