Seven: Housing

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This chapter examines the changes to the housing system 2007/8 to 2015. It shows that the arrival of the Coalition led to major funding cuts, with housing contributing more than its fair share to the overarching Coalition objective of deficit reduction. The exception to these cuts were for spend to support home ownership, and encouragement to provide additional house building. In parallel there was a weakening of the main housing elements of the UK’s welfare “safety net” protection for households in need. This included through saving measures raising social housing rents above traditional “social rent” levels, restricting Housing Benefit paid to low income households, ending the presumption of lifelong security of tenure for social housing tenants, and proposals to extend the right to buy provisions to charitable housing associations. By the end of the period little progress had been seen against the Coalition’s housing policy goals, and some problems had worsened including a marked rise in homelessness, lower supply than demand, worsening affordability, and tenure and spatial polarisation.

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