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Soon, there will be no land left for social housing! “The safety net of social housing no longer exists for many of us and it is a crying shame.”

3 April 2018

Soon, there will be no land left for social housing. 

The closing gap between low incomes and rising rents & council tax leads to debt, homelessness, hunger, mental and physical illness, and an early death.

Social housing while vital in principle is a disaster in practice; that is because so-called affordable rents are linked to and go up with the price of land in a rising housing market, which profits landlords, national and international property speculators in UK land, but the low incomes of renters are losing value or are stopped. They are also taxed with council tax and housing benefit is cut. The closing gap between low incomes and rising rents & council tax creates, debt, homelessness, hunger, mental and physical illness, and an early death.

The Church of England selling inherited land into the market to the highest bidders is depriving low income citizens of land for social housing. We "talk the talk" about foodbanks but must learn to "walk the walk" with our land. We are required by our faith both to act in the interests of the low income citizens and also to challenge laws that allow national and international speculators to grab UK land and force rents ever higher to the deteriment of the common good. 

Posted on TAP Facebook. 

"It’s absolutely criminal what they have done".

I grew up on a council estate in Bermondsey in London, we had to move there after being evicted from a run down property with holes in the roof so bad that my mum and Dad use to lay out loads of pots and pans to catch the rain water in. There was damp and mould and it was freezing cold. Both my parents worked and paid all the rent themselves but refused to pay it after the youngest children became really sick with these living conditions. I think the hope was the roof would get fixed at least. No chance and We were evicted as a family in 1965 and it was Southwark Council that rehoused us in a rented council flat. Thank God they did, what would have happened to us I dread to think. The safety net of social housing no longer exists for many of us and it is a crying shame." 

Archbishop Welby asked to re-examine concerns about personal freedom, which has been abused in the field of UK taxation by hoarding land tax-free and parking income overseas tax-free.

Letter in the Observer - Ist April 2018

The price of selling off land - soon there will be no land left for social housing

I was the vicar in the village where they filmed The Vicar of Dibley from 1982 to 1999 (“Going, going… fury at £7m auction of social housing”, News). There were 35 homes, including six council-owned bungalows. One was bought by the tenant for £25,000, exercising right to buy, and sold as soon as possible for £250,000. They are now selling for about £600,000. Soon, there will be no land for social housing in the beautiful Chiltern Hills; it requires the calculation of an affordable rent without the cost of land.

I now live on the edge of the most deprived ward in Haringey. The council wants to sell the land supporting the 1,100 homes of the Northumberland Park council estate at market prices, so distributing the deprivation to other wards and councils. Soon, there will be no land left for social housing in London.

Rev Paul Nicolson, Taxpayers Against Poverty. 

Letter in The Guardian 5th February 2018

Unlimited, unused, unearned, untaxed increase in the value of land grabbed for private gain to the detriment of the common good.

It is an immense relief to read that the housing debate has at last embraced the free market in land that is at the root of so many of the UK’s troubles. The Haringey housing battle was about the people’s opposition to the powerful state and a powerful private developer joining forces to remove the land from under the homes of council tenants. Since 1979 an ideological free market approach to land has been forcing the UK back to the middle ages.

In the history of the parish of Fingest, which I served, is the story of Henry Burgersh. He was the grandson of a baron who became bishop of Lincoln; he claimed authority over the abbot of St Albans Abbey. In March 1130 the abbot made over to the bishop the manor of Fingest (Buckinghamshire) in return for a renunciation of all episcopal rights over the monastery. The bishop promptly enclosed 300 acres of common land on which 60 families depended for survival; it is recorded that they starved. The modern version is in the unlimited, unearned, untaxed increase in the value of land grabbed for private gain to the detriment of the common good.


Rev Paul Nicolson, Taxpayers Against Poverty

Rally Against the London Clearances - Hosted by Save Our Square E17

29 April at 2:00–5:00 at City Hall, 110 The Queen's Walk, SE1 2AA. 

Selling council land into UK housing market to deal with HousingCrisis is a disastrous mistake. It makes the rich richer. It deprives low income renters of a fair share of land & affordable homes.

This rally is a must for all who treasure justice. 

TAP is supporting Shelter's Commission on Social Housing because the Grenfell survivors are represented on the Commission. The commission will decide what to say following the evidence they receive. It has been set up in the wake the Grenfell tragedy. Here is TAP's evidence. It is supported by DEBT DEATH & DEADWEIGHT edited by Fred Harrison, the Director of the Land Research Trust and a Director of TAP. 


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