Labour’s Housing Group comment on Cameron’s last statements on Housing: second in our 2016 Housing blogs
‘He wants to bring security to families ‘who currently have none at all’. Well this might produce an interesting discussion. He clearly expects this will mean talking about the poor design of estates and tenants’ wish to live in ordinary streets not high-rise blocks. There might be some tenants who want that, but my bet is that most will define ‘security’, or lack of it, in very different terms. Here’s a shot at a few possible answers: community policing by officers we know, that has now disappeared; community centres that catered for young people, now closed; people who are benefit-dependent having very little or no money and getting withdrawn, depressed or worse; most jobs being insecure and offering low wages. And of course, he is highly likely to find tenants worrying about the ending of secure tenancies, or about higher rents that will drive out better-off tenants, or about Greg Clark’s scheme to sell off the best bits of their estates.’
A hundred of Britain’s ‘most dilapidated and poverty-ridden housing estates’ are to be redeveloped, promises David Cameron. Some will be demolished and rebuilt from their foundations. Just as the last economic crisis had nothing to do with the bankers, it now seems that the cause of the 2011 riots has been pinned down to ‘decades of neglect in rundown housing estates’. But don’t worry, Cameron is going to ‘tear down’ the ‘brutal high-rise towers’ to tackle drug abuse and stamp out gangland culture. Indeed, he’s so serious about it that he’s put aside £140 million to do the job.
Only ten days after writing a blog on the government’s illusionary policies, I didn’t expect a new and even worse example to come along quite so soon. This one’s so bad it’s difficult to know where criticism should begin. Perhaps the old-fashioned physical determinism of assuming that people’s problems are…
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