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Written by rosalind renshaw

A new report from the TUC says that home ownership creates hardship for poorer people who stretch themselves to the limit to fulfil their dreams.

It says there are 3.1 million owner occupiers living in poverty, of whom two million have mortgages.

It says that many of them are unable to move, trapped in areas where there are few jobs.  

‘Can Housing Work for Workers?’ – written for the TUC by the Fabian Society – calls for a new approach to housing policy and says that although more and more people want to own their own homes, home ownership does not always bring prosperity.

The report says that back in 1975 only 62% of the adult population aspired to own their own home, but by 2010 the figure had risen to 89%.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “This report argues that false assumptions about the benefits of home ownership have led to policy makers failing to acknowledge that many owner occupiers are trapped in areas with few jobs.

“A new approach is needed, which includes extending financial and advisory support to owner occupiers and accepting that both private rented and social housing have a vital role to play in creating greater mobility for those seeking work and greater financial security.

“Without new thinking, the UK is likely to repeat the mistakes of the past and become trapped in a cycle of housing boom and bust.”

The report calls for housing support to owner occupiers in poverty, compulsory insurance for all new mortgages, and the deliberate creation of communities where there is a mix of rental and owner-occupied homes.

It also calls for better regulation of the mortgage market and scrutiny of the financial health of borrowers, and greater provision of long-term fixed rate mortgages, offering greater stability to those who do borrow.


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    Oh! and a red would be someone who has nothing, and wants to share it with you.

    Either way anom, you are so obviously a selfish idiot. Sit in your own little world, pull the drawbridge up and stick your two fingers up at the less well off. Do it. It makes you feel big about yourself.

    When your back is to the wall one day, lets hope your fellow man is not like you. It may be a car accident, a mugging, a heart attack, it could be amything.


    • 22 July 2011 13:52 PM
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    The difference between a Tory and a Tory supporter is about £20 million in the bank.

    • 22 July 2011 13:43 PM
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    Ummmm let me see, wasn't the Great British public invited to buy both the houses they were renting and also buy shares in each of the various sell offs.

    I actually don't think you are alright Jack, there is fairly clear evidence that you are not content with your lot . Perhaps now the smoke and mirrors of the Labour administration is clearing the realisation that Great Britain isn't a single class society after all is probably troubling you.

    I shouldn't worry too much about the genereation below the smart ones will do well enough to look after themselves and will be smart enough to pay their taxes to keep the others from rioting.

    • 21 July 2011 07:39 AM
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    If only I were a Red !! I'm neither Blue nor Red., not Yellow either.

    It matters not.
    The difference between a Tory and a Tory supporter is about £20 million in the bank. Sun Readers! Wannabes, I'm all right jack brigade, screw you crew. It is all there in the ramblings.

    Thather sold the country's crown jewels to her mates and the public lapped it up.

    Not my generation suffering, it's the generation below me. I'm alright Jack, but I know it was wrong.

    Simples! me thinks (as are the bloggers who write tripe)

    • 20 July 2011 17:13 PM
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    It is soooooo dark at the bottom of the pit there is no light to read the Guardian for his next post or perhaps he has gone on strike.

    • 20 July 2011 13:02 PM
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    I make it more like 3-0 to the Blues...


    • 20 July 2011 09:35 AM
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    1-0 to the yuppy muppet?

    • 19 July 2011 18:54 PM
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    You've got issues mate! How about explaining why council tenants didn't have a right to buy their homes. Care to explain why 13 years wasn't enough time re-nationalise all the industries previously privatised ans then if the pit you are ignorantly digging isn't deep enough I would love to hear why you think Gordon and Tony didn''t think it necessary to build the 15.5 millions home that the Gold sell off scandal would have paid for.

    • 19 July 2011 06:42 AM
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    It was the Thatcher obsession to sell off everything that had brought us to that juncture. World war? Phooey! Where once there was a common, a respect for that which belongs to all of us, conservative ideology craved up the assets of the country and placed them into private enclosures. A lot of people got very, very wealthy on this gravy train. In the mid 80's it was calculated you needed to be earning over £360k pa to really enjoy the fruits of consevatism Thatcher style, and not many were. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle (you and me) pay for both the richer and poorer. Don't kid yourself. You don't have enough money to be a propper fan, or you wouldn't be reading this. If they could they would do the same with the very air we breathe, private control...... they would.

    • 18 July 2011 18:07 PM
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    Which of those listed have failed in private hands?

    I would guess that all have faired far better as businesses than if the were still nationalised.

    Seems you are all pissy about housing, the thing is whether the properties are rented or owned in the 25+ years since the sell off there is now a requirement for twice as many properties.

    Copulate for property and benefits was always a flawed scheme!

    • 18 July 2011 17:20 PM
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    Left wing expect the nanny state to look after them, not the case here not even in Russia now.,

    Unions, worth something in Victorian times when workers needed protection, now they are just bullies after a fight and their top brass are the worst, living lavish life styles better than the very bosses they attack.

    Adding value to society? not any longer, outlaw the sick lot.

    • 18 July 2011 17:16 PM
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    No, too late, damage done. Can never be retrieved.

    The whole country sold out by Thatcher.

    Housing stock
    Post Office
    Shipbuilding etc. etc.

    Keep your opinions. I see the facts, know the facts. This generation (now) sold out by Thatcher.

    Good, wasn't she?

    • 18 July 2011 17:08 PM
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    Selling 400 tons of gold to your mates at world low gold prices, the actions of an intelligent and honest chancellor?
    Mrs Thatcher sold homes to working tenants who could afford to buy them.

    Do I guess that you would have all the ex local authority properties returned to council ownership? care to explain how that would go down.

    UK manufacturing? let me cast my mind back to the pre 79 conservative government, Mrs Thatcher won a landslide election victiory off the back of the union's winter of discontent that tore the heart out of production.

    I wonder what the folk in Birmingham would be doing right now without the Germans and Indian car companies. Still building crappy cars with Austin A series engines and CO2 emmissions to put a Siberian swamp to shame.

    • 18 July 2011 16:46 PM
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    Individual local authorities have always had the ability to sell council houses to their tenants, but until the early 1970s such sales were extremely rare. However, the Conservative-controlled Greater London Council of the late 1960s was persuaded by Horace Cutler, its Chairman of Housing, to create a general sales scheme. Cutler disagreed with the concept of local authorities as providers of housing and supported a free market approach. GLC housing sales were not allowed during the Labour administration of the mid-1970s but picked up again once Cutler became Leader in 1977. They proved extremely popular, and Cutler was close to Margaret Thatcher (a London MP) who made the right to buy council housing a Conservative Party policy nationally.

    After Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister, the legislation to implement the Right to Buy was passed in the Housing Act 1980. The sale price of a council house was based on its market valuation but also included a discount to reflect the rents paid by tenants and also to encourage take-up. The legislation gave council tenants the right to buy their council house at a discounted value, depending on how long they had been living in the house, with the proviso that if they sold their house before a minimum period had expired they would have to pay back a proportion of the discount. The sales were an attractive deal for tenants and hundreds of thousands of homes were sold. The policy is regarded as one of the major points of Thatcherism.

    Proceeds of the sales were paid to the local authorities, but they were restricted to spending the money to reduce their debt until it was cleared, rather than being able to spend it on building more homes. The effect was to reduce the council housing stock, especially in areas where property prices were high such as London and the south-east of England.

    By 1987, more than 1,000,000 council houses in Britain had been sold to their tenants.

    The Labour Party was initially against the sales and pledged to oppose them in the 1983 and 1987 general elections, but had dropped this policy by the 1992 election because it was perceived as losing votes.[1]

    When Labour finally returned to power in 1997, it reduced the discount available to tenants in local authorities which have severe pressure on their housing stock; this includes almost the whole of London.

    • 18 July 2011 16:37 PM
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    Watching, anon is correct; the Guardian did an expose a few months ago which demonstrated (with figures) how the bulk of our council stock was sold via RTB under Blair and not Thatcher.

    Sure Mrs T started the whole sorry debacle but - as seemed to be a common theme- New Labour implemented their policies with aplomb.

    • 18 July 2011 14:20 PM
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    Oooops, one of those money grabbing yuppie types from the 80's makes a crass comment.

    So?? whoever you are?

    You believe the BT selloff was good? Our Money< is it profitable now? yes! this should have been profit for the country.

    Same with post office, water, gas, electric.. Muppet?

    Close down the coal industry so we can import German coal..Muppet?

    Close down car maunufacturing so we can all get BMW's and Merc's, Muppet?

    Whoever this muppet is posting crap about Brown Blair caused it is a complete idiot. Sure Brown didn't get us out of it, but he didn't cause it.

    But the method for the country to produce money for the collective coffers got sold off by Mrs T in the 80's, you muppet.

    • 18 July 2011 12:46 PM
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    Watching have you been in a coma for 13 years?

    Of all the thick posters on here you have to be one of the most stupid.

    Go and do a bit of digging and have a look at how much personal wealth various Labour leaders and ministers have made from property.

    The economic problems this country is facing is wholly down to massive government borrowing, Brown and Blair bought votes to keep themselves in power and a loyal electorates arse planted firmly on sofas up and down the country.
    Boo Hoo Boo Hoo life is not fair!

    • 18 July 2011 10:06 AM
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    Its a farce. A Mrs T legacy.

    I recently was involved in helping a housing association buying 30 ex local hoses at £250k each (in the SE).

    It made me want to weep. My Grandmother and Grandfather lived in a well loved Council House on the same estae from 1955 to1975 when they died.

    Mrs T sold the UK out so she could have her own glory days. She pressed the 'greed' button and the country lost the crown jewels. Water, gas, electricity, etc, all those profit making business went west, along with the UK housing stock.

    An entire generation got sold out (this generation) before they were old enough to do anything about it. Look over your shoulder, shhhhhh, the monsters are back in power.

    • 16 July 2011 11:59 AM
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    Back in 1975 was before the council house sale boom got under way and of course the figures reflect this. Take them out of the equasion and you may end up with much different numbers.

    Home ownership was handed out on a plate at up to 80% discount for long term council tenants to be able to buy their council house. An old mate of mine summed it up by saying our local council were going to give him (at that time) £10,000 for living in his now ex council house for a few more short years and he rubbed his hands with glee.

    • 15 July 2011 18:50 PM
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