return to the homepage
return to the previous page





report offensive content
click to view site banner advert 2

click to view site banner advert 3


text version




bookmark this website print this page    




Homelessness is a blight on Society. In the many years between the late 1930's and the late 1950's Government coped with the housing crises by giving those who had tenancies from private House owners, security of tenure irrespective of their original tenancy agreement, and with that went a system of controlled rents, and from those rents before making payments, tenants were required to deduct a tax called Schedule A. So far as I understood that it was the notional amount of Income Tax, the owner of the house might be expected to pay on his or her rental income due. However If the Tenant wasn’t eligible for the payment of Income tax, he or she wasn’t required to 'hand over' the Schedule A Tax deducted from the rent due.

When such privately funded tenancies ceased circa 1957, House owners did raise their rents to unprecedented levels. In the Thames Valley tenants were required to pay as much as a fiver a week for a two bedroom purpose built flat in Maidenhead or £3.85 a week for a three bedroom spacious house further upstream at Wargrave. Understandably the Tenants were not suffering such extortion and tended to move out of their homes en masse. I note that the £3.85 pw house since modernised recently sold for close on £800,000 pound. The original owner would be surprised that a house that was built c.1933 for a couple of thousand borrowed from private Bankers, is now seemingly worth so much. I suppose its a matter of supply and demand, but more than that such profit arose from Government interference in the Housing market.

Sometime later the Right to buy became Law. Publically owned Council Housing, since rebranded as Social Housing was sold off to Tenants at a discount. How wise were the tenants, who bought well built properties for two or three thousand pounds, with money more often than not borrowed from the local Council selling off the housing. Alongside that right there was the right of Leaseholders to buy the Freeholds of their homes, from Private House Owners. Way back at the end of the nineteenth century speculative builders borrowed money and built houses which were let to tenants for a period of maybe one hundred years, on the basis of a small down payment and a ground rent of maybe as little as £1.50 per annum. The Understanding being that after that one hundred years the house would revert to the Builder, who would only then take the profit. Over that one hundred years occupation of such property became more and more attractive and the original and earlier leaseholders sold off leases at enhanced prices. This was of no benefit to the original Builder. At some stage there was a 'Tipping Point, for further down the line prices declined on the basis that the period of all such subsequent occupation was diminishing, so was deemed less valuable. Further more the cry went up from tenants both Social and Private 'Why should we be paying out all this rent for accommodation we will never own?' Such thought ignored the fact that most of the monthly payment house purchaser's credit to their Mortgage Company, is interest on the loan given, a lesser amount being repayment of the principal.

When the fact dawned on the then Conservative Government that whole swathes of the Electorate were either going to have to buy either a further leasehold, or the freehold of their Homes at the then Market valuation for such a house, Government decided to effectively confiscate all such privately freeholds , by enforcing the then Freeholder to sell the Freehold of any such housing to the Leaseholder at a different sort of valuation. Possibly as little as fifteen times the existing ground rent plus Solicitor's fees. I know of one such property sold leasehold for a period of one hundred years, for a consideration of was it under £5000 plus £1.50 a year in the 1960's. This a companion house to the aforementioned one in that same Thames Side Village. It too had been modernised and' be-roomed' in the existing attic, its valuation now must surely be circa one million pounds.

Apart from seemingly buying the votes of Leaseholders prior to an election using the expectations of the original freeholders, the idea was that the money raised by the sale of Social Housing would be used to build further new housing. However this never happened because Government reneged on that part of the arrangement, so new housing was little built.

One can not kill the goose that laid the golden eggs twice, even though we are still short of housing. This time around one needs a different answer. As we as a Nation are under occupying our existing housing stock,for all the usual reasons, and accepting uncontrolled immigration from Europe and elsewhere, then we need to build lots more housing in our hitherto Green and Pleasant Land. What of bringing back that earlier target of 300,000 new houses a year ? Regrettably we will have to build them in the fields and on the Beaches etc. but wherever else we have to build them, lets not build them on our sites of prior employment so cosily referred to as 'Brownfield Sites' where they are in short supply. Because if there is something we need quite as much as domestic accommodation it's a requirement for workshops and other places for employment.

Email : pionono@tiscali,