A dangerous mess: The UK’s housing crisis

Such regulation of private landlords survived throughout the majority of the 20th century, and maintained a delicate balance of power between them and renters. The costs facing private tenants grew roughly in line with those of buyers. Rents, on the whole, were affordable. Margaret Thatcher soon sorted this, however, when in 1988 she introduced the Housing Act which deregulated the private rental sector and effectively killed off rent control in the UK.

Thanks also to financial deregulation and easy credit, houses became not only homes but huge money-makers for those with spare cash. A long term increase in house prices ensued and since 1998 houses prices have leapt from five to ten times average earnings. The UK is struggling to deal with the consequences, as the bloated profits of private landlords have propped up the slow growth of an otherwise hollow economy, and the scores of renters helping pay off those landlord’s cheaply credited mortgages have lost out. Much of the rhetoric from politicians still fits within an aspirational homeowner narrative, where voters are told their ultimate goal should be to transcend the renter’s quagmire through hard work and home ownership. But with house prices rising out of reach and with wages stagnant, the old idea of progression from renter-to-buyer is fading on the horizon, crowded out by the yachts of speculative investors and buy-to-let landlords. A coalition of London-based housing groups have been working out how best to protect tenants in this new permanent rental paradigm.

The Renter’s Power Project (RPP) came together in 2016 to think about how to develop a sense of collective identity for renters: as a basis for organising, as a platform for developing bargaining power, as a means to winning increased legal protection for renters and, ultimately, as a way to transform the housing market. Constituted by an ecology of members working at various levels of housing and community campaigning, from national government lobbyists to local eviction resistance groups, the aim is to help renters realise their own collective power.

Read more

  • hvaiallverden

    I bet this is as real as what is in My country and capital Oslo, if you take an stroll thru your city, take notise of how many buildings that is in fact empty, you will be stunned.
    In Norway we have chronic under water regarding student commodity, where whats official goes to foreign students, and the Norwegians have to go into the open marked, and thats 3-4 times more expensive than what it should be, because of forcing people to rent in an marked created by the rotten Gov. locally and nationally.

    And our Gov. seems completely unable or willing to do something/anything about that, refused to do anything for decades, while massive amounts of housing, old ind. building, commercial and so are there with nothing in them, all over the town and students is forced to triple their student loans just for the f…… housing.
    The price level in Oslo is beyond bonkers, in fact, everywhere else in this planet, except maybe Manhattan is more expensive that our little shit hole Oslo.
    Even Amster is just an joke, compared to Oslo.

    Thats why the “marked” is high, its created to be so, by inducing bottle necks.
    I ges the systemic scam is also in the UK.


  • starviego

    Housing costs are soaring mostly because of all the immigrants being let in everywhere in the West.