All told it has been an interesting week as the CIH and NHF have both (finally) taken their gloves off and taken a swing at the monumental balls up that is housing policy in our beloved (possibly soon to be dissolved) country. As Jules Birch expertly notes the proposals from the CIH pretty much entirely go against the current line of thinking vis a vis housing policy. Good. It’s a crock of shite and has been for at least 3 decades.
Apart from sticking the middle finger at Government thinking on housing and the welfare state (albeit in a polite and well thought out manner). The CIH also makes a number of observations that I have previously noted. In particular:
- Current welfare reforms are looking to suppress symptoms rather than address the overall cause of the rise in housing benefit
- The DCLG and DWP need to pick up the phone and co-ordinate policies a hell of a lot better
- Iain Duncan Smith is an idiot (OK maybe made that one up, John Major agrees though…kinda)
Brownie points for me aside I have to say that the CIH could have picked a much better week for the release of this report. With everyone getting their kilts and/or knickers in a twist over whether those north of the border will stay with us or go it alone press coverage will be minimal. We have less than a year to go before another election hits us (working on the booby traps for unsuspecting candidates as we speak) accidentally burying your hard work in Brave-heart week is not a smart move. Particularly as Ipsos Mori has recently put housing bottom of the things people give a rat’s arse about regarding the general election. This could have been handled a little bit better. That being said it is a very well put together report that does something successive Governments have failed to do and has actually joined up a set of thought processes around housing, jobs and the welfare state. You can read it here.
The NHF for its part has set out its #Homesforbritain campaign. Which alongside #yestohomes and #SHOUT should keep badge manufacturers busy up and down the country. Presumably their is a plan for the campaign to be shifted to #Homesforthecountryformallyknownas if the Yes campaign wins the #indyref. If you are interested in the #Homesforbritain campaign you can go to it here. The aim is to get housing up the political agenda and into the consciousness of the zombie-like masses that form the electorate. And lay a platform for a long term set of solutions to our housing crisis. Not wanting too much then.
Joking aside I support all three campaigns because anything that looks to raise the profile of social housing and increase its supply gets my support. I just hope we don’t get bogged down in the differences between the campaigns. All are aiming for the right thing (it’s not like football you can have more than one team…) so give them the time, energy and support they deserve. If you don’t Nigel Farage will continue to turn up on our TV screens. No one wants that #justsaying.