Inside Housing – Commentary – Soul is torn from many residential areas. Social landlord sales policies must be scrutinized more closely
Or are they listed on one of the party house websites? A three bedroom house that sleeps 14? With the plaster removed to make him more nervous (thus removing the last vestige of soundproofing), rented for £ 1,000 on weekends, rubbish left in the lane, sex toys and drug paraphernalia where the children play on their bikes?
Obviously any house that comes on the market can end up like this, not just the houses that housing associations sell. But at the very least, we need to be aware of the choices we are making and perhaps think twice.
“It would make so much of a difference if the Homes England grant were available to buy houses facing the street”
Arawak Walton, like other associations, has bought streetside properties and brought them back to life, turning them into decent family homes where people can thrive.
But what about those who escape? The myriad of private sales that fall into the hands of developers pushing ahead with oversized conversions that sit empty for most of the year.
These are often our heartfelt communities where city workers live, forced into scenarios of feast or famine. If the situation continues to worsen, in a few years they could see half-empty streets on weekdays with no neighbors visible.
It would make so much of a difference if the Homes England grant were available to buy houses facing the street. With an open market purchase subsidy for social rent purposes, housing would be part of planned programs, cyclical maintenance, and carbon reduction strategies.
They could form the basis of housing co-ops, a new generation of community-run housing. The possibilities are endless and, more importantly, they will have families living there – families with a few extra pounds in their pockets saved on rent, with security of tenure and an interest in where they live.
Alison Inman, Board Member, Colne, Saffron and Tpas; former president, CIH; co-founder, SHOUT