Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Repossessions should become council houses

What a day it was yesterday! I had my radio with me in the office so that I could keep up to date with the latest developments as the global economy came crashing down around us.

I feel little concern that tens of thousands of jobs of have gone in the city. These people have shown no sympathy for the hundreds of thousands of jobs that have been lost in manufacturing over the years, many as a consequence of the greed of the finance industry. I feel no concern that nearly 4% was wiped off the value of the FTSE. The shareholders have had year upon year of a rising index and common sense tells you that this can't carry on - sooner or later the fall must come. They should have been better prepared.

The global economy is responsible for the destruction of the British manufacturing industry and rising unemployment. Cheap foreign imports have closed our factories and low-paid migrant workers have put British workers on the dole. I am certainly shedding no tears this morning.

With the disappearance of the cheap credit that fuels the global market place, rising transport costs and the unpredictability of foreign exchange, countries will have to retreat within themselves, looking to the home market for both sales and production. In Britain it will be this self-sufficiency that is seen as the only way forward and that, of course, is the basis of the British National Party's economic policy.

But what of the repercussions for the man in the street from yesterday's historic events? - and make no mistake that is exactly what they were historic!

Well, the biggest jolt for us is still to come and that's the collapse of the personal credit market. Those firms that have been lending to all and sundry (you know the ones, where they are willing to lend money to you even if you have a bad credit rating, no equity in your house and even CCJs) will go to the wall. The credit supply will disappear and the credit card time-bomb that Freedom warned of more than three years ago will explode.

And from the wreckage a sound financial system will emerge. Money earned will have a real value once again because there will be no easy money to borrow. Financial prudence and savings will be rewarded once again as rising interest rates due to the credit shortage will benefit savers. People will have to live within their means once again which will provide the stability that the country needs.

A major downside will be the collapse of the housing market and that will hurt every family in the country as we all have our money tied up in our property. Back in the 1990s, the downward spiral in house prices was exacerbated by the repossessions that were coming on to the market. In the very dark days it was only houses that had been repossessed that were being bought because they were the only homes providing value for money amongst those up for sale. This time around there will be many, many more repossessions and something must be done to limit their depressing effect on the price of property.

One answer is to use the repossessions to boost our council housing stock. Any home being repossessed should be viewed by the local authority as to its suitability to provide social housing and then if it is feasible, the Government should make the funding available for the transaction to take place. As many lenders will have little chance of recouping any money from the family that has lost their home, a good deal for the taxpayers could be agreed upon. The council could then offer the family evicted their home back as a council house for which they would pay the going rate in council rent.

This will massively increase our much depleted (thanks to the Tories) social housing stock and also help shore up the fragile property market.

That's my take on things this morning at around eight o'clock. What do you think?


Tommy Atkins said...


The council house idea is good but for one small problem. Under current rules council houses go to people with larger families and as immigrants tend to have these larger familes then the newly created council houses will simply provide more homes for immigrants and will do littel to help British people per se.

Tommy Atkins

Duggan said...

If the idea is purely that they become rented council properties until such time as the occupier may be able to buy it back then fine, or if the housing was formerly council property then fine, but I worked and saved to remove myself from an environment created by certain elements within social estates and would have no wish to see those same problems move back next door to me.

catmar said...

I tend to agree with duggan on this topic. I've had my share of bad neighbours in council house estates, it's a bit of a toss up if you get a good neighbour or bad, nosey or keep to themselves. So my vote would be if the house was previously a council house then by all means sell it back to the council otherwise put thinking cap back on.

William said...

I agree with Duggan in that this would work best if councils could buy up houses that are being repossessed and then rent them back to the previous owners giving them an option to buy back in the future. There are a lot of property investors and companies doing this as a business at the moment but since they need to make a profit they can only work with people who have substantial equity in their property. Councils could help a much broader range of people and on more favourable terms.