Saturday, November 19, 2011


I have just read the article:



I have never read such rubbish.  Starting with the comment ““Private rents are market led and, therefore, significantly driven by housing supply…” I would argue that if that is the case then it is government’s job to ensure a plentiful supply of housing to keep rents low. In fact, my first argument against this statement would be that shelter is such a basic human need that market forces should not be involved in its provision or cost. Effectively, I am arguing for council housing and a massive local authority building plan to ensure affordable housing, controlled by government, both local and central so that low income families and single people can have good, secure accommodation without the fear of slum landlords and frankly unscrupulous landlords charging what they like for unsuitable accommodation.  

The statement ““Excessive regulation would drive up rents and reduce choice for tenants. Rent controls, historically, resulted in the size of the private rented sector shrinking from 55% of households in 1939 to just 8% in the late 1980s.” is balderdash. The reason that the private rented sector shrank so drastically is because of the lack of affordable council houses available in 1939 and the massive post war government provision of council houses; it had nothing to do with the needed regulation of unscrupulous landlords.

Traditionally, Shelter has been concerned with providing affordable rented accommodation for the poor. Their emphasis is on this and less on how we do it. It is time for Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive to take the bull by the horns and say private rented accommodation doesn’t work for the people who need it; wealthy private landlords are against regulation to keep rents low, supported by their rich politician friend’s ; the only alternative is local authority provision of affordable rented housing.

Do the right thing, Mr. Robb. Say we need more local authority housing provision and less unregulated private landlords.


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