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Housing the homeless

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:40 PM 765 views

The New Statesman doesn’t care about homeless people. Their recent leader called for an increase in the number of homes being built in this country “For the sake of growth and our young people”. They didn’t mention the need to prevent homelessness…

Crowded house

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:37 PM 12,158 views

In the rush to condemn the so-called ‘Bedroom tax’ some commentators have been tempted to down play the problem of overcrowded housing in England. Using the so-called ‘bedroom standard’ (more details on that measure here) there were, at the time of…

Off target

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:37 PM 889 views

Labour’s headline housing policy is the pledge to build 200,000 homes per year. This policy suffers from being both not particularly popular and not being particularly right. It is also not particularly new. In 2004 the Barker review called for between 200,000…

Housing quality and equality

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:36 PM 742 views

Is it possible to improve the quality of housing for people on low incomes in an unequal society? That might be a strange question but the case of the Decent Homes Standard shows how hard it actually is to improve…

What’s wrong with rising house prices?

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:34 PM 690 views

The government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme could raise house prices by 20% in the next couple of years, according to a report by Fathom Consultancy. This is not being heralded as good news by everyone (although The Express has followed…

Public services in the community

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:34 PM 750 views

The measles outbreaks taking place across the country tells us a lot about how public services, such as hospitals and schools, can be reformed so that they have a better relationship with the communities in which they operate. Much has been written about…

Frontline voices: Thomas Neumark

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:32 PM 2,528 views

In the second of a new series on voices from the frontline, Thomas Neumark explains why he blogs. Writing blogs can be a good chance for self reflection and networking for practitioners in any field of public service. Throughout my…

Mortgage advice

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:32 PM 1,107 views

Mortgage lenders and house builders are more concerned with rebuilding their balance sheets than in building the number of new homes the UK needs. Some facts for you; UBS, the ‘financial services’ company, have been fined $1.5 bn for rigging markets. HSBC…

Demand more than supply

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:32 PM 1,097 views

In the UK discussion on housing policy is often on how to increase the number of houses built each year. There is very little discussion of whether the existing houses should be distributed in a different way. Housing policy is…

Drugs policy needs the X-Factor not a Royal Commission

/ June 29, 2015 at 8:32 PM 3,114 views

The Prime Minister has ruled out the possibility of a Royal Commission on decriminalising drugs. I have some sympathy for his position. Whatever you think about the question of drugs policy, doesn’t the idea of a Royal Commission sound kind of old…

From the archive: The benefits of housing benefit

/ January 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM 1,599 views

I feel the same way about housing benefit that Millwall fans feel about their football club, no one likes it and I don’t care. On the left wing of politics housing benefit is called “‘taxpayers’ subsidies to landlords” while the right talk…

From the archive: Organise don’t mobilise

/ November 6, 2013 at 8:37 PM 1,801 views

Shelter say that there will be more than 80,000 children homeless this Christmas. What should we do about it? I’m starting to think that maybe, just maybe, British comics don’t have all the answers. You see, Russell Brand says we…

From the archive: Stigma and stigmatizers

/ November 21, 2012 at 8:32 PM 3,651 views

The benefits system is Britain is fundamentally flawed. The way it is designed means it guaranteed that people who claim benefits will be stigmatized. What’s more, we have a political class and media who are doing little if anything to…