2017: a worsening of the housing crisis

The art of prediction is little more than a guessing game. Who would have predicted just one year ago that Donald Trump would be elected President of the USA, that Britain would vote for Brexit, David Cameron would be toppled as Prime Minister little more than a year after being elected, that Leicester City would win the Premier League, or that Bake Off would move to Channel Four?

But there was a prediction I made that sadly came about – the housing crisis has worsened. It is a prediction that I make again for 2017.

The other day I received a leaflet through my door about the anticipated rise in house prices in my street. It was presented as good news. Housing is, we are told, a great investment opportunity.

img_4784But housing should be about where people live, and while some are doing very well from our over-heated housing market, more and more people cannot compete. They are experiencing increasing hardship due to the lack of affordable homes.

There are no policies emerging nationally that will turn this tide. Indeed, the continuation of the Right to Buy of council homes and its extension to housing associations will just make matters worse.

Brighton Housing Trust has had a record year for our Christmas fundraising, such is public concern about the number of people sleeping on our streets.

So my second prediction is that public concern will continue to grow but politicians at a national level will fiddle with ineffective policies while those without homes freeze.

(This item was published in the Brighton Argus on 4th January 2017)

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