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Social Housing

(153 Posts)
Jackthelad Mon 25-Jan-16 10:02:23

What exactly is social housing? It is much mentioned by the politico's but to my mind is not defined to have any real meaning. Is it the new name for a council House, if so why not say so? Doing a little research I see the average wage is about £25,000 pa. From this the amount of a mortgage available for that amount of salary is £118,500 approx.. I am informed by local estate agents that there has been a return to the old way of only allowing a mortgage against one persons earnings and the repayments must not exceed one weeks income in four.
Where can anyone go and find any sort of house under these conditions?
If any Gransnetter has better information than I have I would be curious to learn it

Gagagran Mon 25-Jan-16 10:23:09

They mention "affordable housing" a lot too Jack usually when giving planning permission for new housing developments. Well I never understand what that is, how it can be enforced and who polices it.

If the first buyer wants to sell it on later, surely they will get the best market price at that time and it will no longer be "affordable". It's all a bit Alice in Wonderland for me! confused

trisher Mon 25-Jan-16 10:37:54

Social housing as I understand it is housing owned by an organisation and rented out. So it covers council housing and housing owned by charitable organisations, housing companies etc. Affordable housing is a way for developers to push through planning permission for housing developments by providing a small percentage of cheaper/smaller housing within it. Who can afford to buy this housing is entirely a different question!

Jalima Mon 25-Jan-16 10:45:10

There is a definition in this link jackthelad, you'll have to scroll down a bit:-

Some housing is still LA owned, other stock is owned by Housing Associations who took over the responsibilities from the LAs many years ago, some privately owned is run by the HA.

At one time any private building of new estates had to include a proportion of social or affordable houses, I am not sure if the rules have been relaxed recently; certainly a small new estate near us has about six affordable houses included which I presume will be taken over by a Housing Association.
I don't think the term 'affordable' means affordable to purchase, I think it means at a rent lower than the norm for that area.

However, I am sure that other Gransnetters will be more knowledgeable than me about this.

GillT57 Mon 25-Jan-16 10:53:08

Social housing is rented, owned by either local authorities ( council houses) or housing associations, and there are not enough of them. Affordable housing is a new wheeze. The situation used to be:
a developer applied to a local authority for planning permission to build a certain number of homes, and if there was more than 12 units then a certain percentage, usually about 20% had to be social housing and the local authority had the allocation rights on those properties for people on their waiting list.
Now there is a new definition of affordable housing which has nothing at all to do with whether anyone can actually afford to buy them; by selling a certain percentage of the units at a discounted price through something like the help to buy scheme ( where you get help to raise the deposit), the devevloper now does not have to build social housing.

gettingonabit Mon 25-Jan-16 11:06:32

Affordable is the word bandied about these days to suggest that something is being done about the housing crisis.

I despair.

Social housing is housing built specifically for rent, at less than the market value, and generally taken up by those unable to afford to buy. Over the past few decades, genuine social housing has been sold off and hasn't been replaced.

At the time, it was perfectly possible to obtain a mortgage to buy a property at, say, three times your salary. Nowadays pressure on housing supply means that prices have shot up, meaning that an average salary may no longer stretch that far.

gettingonabit Mon 25-Jan-16 11:08:31

I'd say, for the average young person, a property of one's own bought with a mortgage is no longer a possibility.

NanaandGrampy Mon 25-Jan-16 11:13:06

I'd agree gettingonabit

My youngest daughter has a shared ownership home, where they have a mortgage for 45% and rent 55% with a view to buy that if ever they win the lottery smile.

So no matter how 'affordable' a home is , they'll always be hard pushed to afford one.

gettingonabit Mon 25-Jan-16 11:34:34

nana that's good! I think even shared ownership is pretty rare now, sadly.

I think the days of property ownership as an ambition are over, at least for now.

Elegran Mon 25-Jan-16 11:48:32

It took a while for the practice of lending on two salaries to send house prices sky high, so it would take a while for stopping that to send them down again. It doesn't help young people buying at the moment, but perhaps it would make a difference in time.

Nonnie Mon 25-Jan-16 11:51:20

If anyone is interested in shared ownership they can look here:, there are a lot in London. They are strict about who they sell to and only families are allowed to buy the bigger ones. I know a Chartered Accountant in London who bought his flat this way as he couldn't afford a whole one.

Once you have bought a share you can then 'staircase' to buy a further portion when you can afford it. I think it is a great idea.

Does anyone know who social housing is financed? Is it the council tax payer or does it pay for itself?

NanaandGrampy Mon 25-Jan-16 11:57:49

The trouble is we as a country led by our governments have encouraged house ownership as the ultimate purchase. So our children quite rightly aspire to improve on the situation they see their parents in and one of the ways is house ownership.

Coupled that with rent rises in all the major conurbations , our children see that if they do rent they will not be able to save towards the holy grail of a mortgage so they are stuck between a rock and hard place.

Affordable to me means affordable rabbit hutches for 2 earners with no hope of one of them ever staying home should they have a family .

I will be interested to see if we take in migrants en masse as has been discussed where they will live. If we cannot house the people we have , and our children , born and bred here cannot afford to buy ( god forbid they even try and get on any council's waiting list) how are we planning on housing an influx of people?

Its a real conundrum.

gettingonabit Mon 25-Jan-16 12:47:00

elegran I agree with you about the lending. But I think it's more complex than simply that.

Yes, lending got way out of control before the Crash and, since then, banks are reluctant to lend. However there MUST be more to it than simply that.

My belief is, in certain parts of the country at least, it is foreign investors looking for a safe haven for their money and buying up tranches of housing that is compounding the crisis and contributing to the shortage. Many of these houses aren't even lived in.

This is mainly a London/South East problem. It is still possible to buy a house in, say, South Wales for not much more than 50k. Trouble is, no-one wants to live there (or able to do so on pitiful local wages...).

And the press is London-centric too, so the representations of the crisis may not apply in all areas.

Iam64 Mon 25-Jan-16 20:23:14

We have some good council housing around where I live, excellent 1930's family homes, with large gardens and 3 bedrooms. We also have a fair bit of not so good council housing, large run down estates etc. Housing associations have built some good housing/apartments. The policy of forcing councils to sell of their housing stock but not allowing them to spend the money raised on building replacements is really coming home to roost, especially in the south east.
It's easy to criticise the British preoccupation with home ownership and to point out that other european countries have populations who are happy to rent. So would many people here be, if rents were affordable and there was security of tenancy.

We need to build more good quality homes to rent. I'm no economist but house building creates jobs as well as meeting a well known need.

durhamjen Mon 25-Jan-16 22:03:23

That's PQE, Iam.

Deedaa Mon 25-Jan-16 22:26:58

I see there has been a survey that has shown that rises in the amount of Housing Benefit payments have mainly been due to people on low wages being faced with astronomical rents. Well no shit Sherlock! DS earns around the average wage, has no chance of buying and is just about kept afloat by us while he pays an exhorbitant amount of money for a very basic one bedroom flat. He and his fiancee are currently 94th on the Council housing list and are moving down it rather than up.

durhamjen Mon 25-Jan-16 22:50:18

Last week there was a teacher union meeting for young teachers who had realised that they would never be able to afford to own a house.

durhamjen Mon 25-Jan-16 22:59:51

Renters trying to get their own back. Who says youngsters aren't interested in politics?

M0nica Tue 26-Jan-16 11:43:43

'Affordable housing' is a euphamism for social housing (defined above). In our area all new housing developments have to include 40% social housing, always described as 'affordable'.

What is more the social housing has to be evenly distributed among the market housing, which I think is a very good thing because it means that all developments contain a mix of housing types from terrace houses and flats to large detached houses. I live in a village and this mix of small and large houses, social and privately owned is the norm and it is good to see it continued in the 300+ new houses being built or completed in the last year.

Mind you they haven't improved the infrastructure, children living within a short distance of the school have to be driven to other schools in the nearby town because the village school is full and has no room for expansion. The local spine dual carriage way is closed or restricted more often than free running because with 4000 houses plus built in the last three years, all they have done is improve access to it, but only so traffic can reach a stand still once it gets on it.

durhamjen Tue 26-Jan-16 19:39:03

JessM Tue 26-Jan-16 20:33:49

"Affordable housing" in London now defined as up to £450,000

Where in Wales can you get a habitable house for £50k gettingonabit ? Presumably somewhere in a former mining community a long way from any jobs. Not in the coastal part of S Wales surely?

JessM Tue 26-Jan-16 20:36:32

Oh goodness yes. If you live in somewhere like Merthyr you can! Tells you something about the area doesn't it.

durhamjen Tue 26-Jan-16 22:19:09

You can buy one in Hull for £50,000, Jess. You can't get a job, but you can buy a two up two down terrace. Or you can rent it from a buy-to-let landlord who has a job as a buy-to-let landlord.

gettingonabit Tue 26-Jan-16 23:05:34

jess m correctgrin. Treherbert to be precise. No jobs, but very, very pretty.

Similarly anywhere in the South Wales Valleys, the more remote the better.

Still only 25 miles from Cardiff though. And easily commutable (good rail links).

JessM Wed 27-Jan-16 08:20:25

Yes well before the mines opened there were only a few hill farmers in the area. "regeneration" almost impossible as there are so many more attractive areas to open a business, along the M4. I come from Swansea originally and even that suffers from being a bit far along the M4 to compete with Cardiff etc