Author Archives: stevehilditch

Another day, another Housing Minister

You need all your fingers and toes to count the number of Ministers of Housing we have had in the last 30 years. The short term nature of occupancy of the job is one of the reasons we have had … Continue reading

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Solving the land problem: Tesco and car parks

We are constantly told that a shortage of developable land is a primary reason for the shortage of homes. It is the biggest part of the case, for example, for building on the green belt. But there are two things … Continue reading

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So why are we so weak?

At the recent annual general meeting of the Labour Housing Group, addressed by Shadow Housing Minister John Healey MP, there was a general air of disbelief that housing policy could have become so perverted that the most extraordinarily damaging legislation … Continue reading

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More lazy sterotypes

There are few things that irritate me more (although Boris Johnson and Iain Duncan Smith irritate me the most) than lazy stereotypes about council housing estates and council tenants. Sadly, an article this morning in the Guardian by Rhiannon Lucy … Continue reading

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‘Balance’ – the new watchword for housing and investment policy

One of the constant refrains on Red Brick over the years has been the need to direct Government funding as far as possible towards increasing housing supply, which will help cool prices. We have argued that it is counterproductive to … Continue reading

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Turning away ‘Homeless Jesus’ is an appropriate metaphor

Some unusual events make a point in a pertinent but roundabout way. Westminster Council has turned away a ‘Homeless Jesus’ in the form of a life-size bronze sculpture of Jesus sleeping on a park bench by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz, … Continue reading

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Grand plans but tenants just an afterthought (and worse)

Big is beautiful – and more efficient. That’s the mantra that seems to be driving the housing association world at the moment. Egged on by the Government in the shape of the increasingly desperate Housing Minister Brandon Lewis, we have … Continue reading

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Child poverty won’t be reduced by ending the attack on pensioner poverty

I rarely disagree with anything that comes from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Their work over the years on housing, regeneration and poverty has been second to none. But this week they surprised me by publishing a ‘Memo for the new … Continue reading

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The Rent Trap: exactly how do we get out of it?

Steve Hilditch reads and enjoys a new book on the private rented sector, but thinks the ‘what should we do about it’? question remains to be answered.   What to do about private rents has been a perennial debate over … Continue reading

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More shattered dreams

By Councillor Marc Francis Marc has been one of the Labour councillors for Bow East ward in Tower Hamlets for the past ten years, serving as the borough’s Lead Member for Housing & Development between 2008 and 2010. Three years … Continue reading

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