I could not agree more with the report from Raquel Rolnik on adequate housing in the UK. She reports:
The trend has been to give priority to home ownership in detriment of other forms of tenure and to encourage a private renting sector with flexible tenure arrangements.
[P]rivate tenancies can be as short-lived as six months and significantly more expensive than the social rental sector.
Home ownership has provided housing for more than one generation and it is deemed a common aspiration for many. However, the takeover of the housing sector by the financial sector has exposed many households to a highly volatile market, with skyrocketing prices during the boom years [...].
The right to housing is [...] about enabling environments for people to maintain their family and community bonds, their local schools, work places and health services allowing them to exercise all other rights, like education, work, food or health.
[...] I would recommend that the Government puts in place a system of regulation for the private rent sector, including clear criteria about affordability, access to information and security of tenure.
[...] I would encourage a renewal of the Government's commitment to significantly increasing the social housing stock and a more balanced public funding for the stimulation of supply of social and affordable housing which responds to the needs.
Rolnik’s unbiased and fresh reporting is the emperor with no clothes, which I assume is the reason the government has gone mad with denials and retorts this morning. I am so disappointed that when it is presented with clear and useful feedback on the existing situation, without having to pay for expensive research, that it does not listen and take on board the information.
At least in my little corner of the UK, I am working on helping people to find security of tenure. It’s such a basic requirement for most people, and yet so rare in private rented accommodation. Let’s make it easier and more commonplace.