Monday 24 March 2003 5.22pm
Affordable housing is generally provided by Housing Associations, which are non-profit organisations, created after the Tories (rightly) decided that councils generally make bad Landlords. Housing Associations apply for grants from Councils and other agencies which goes towards meeting part of their development costs. For this reason they can sell or rent properties at a lower cost than market prices. A range of accommodation is provided by Housing Associations. The majority of which is for rent and includes properties for single persons, families, special needs and the elderly. Many Housing Associations will provide a limited number of properties for sale through shared ownership (part buy/part rent) or the Homebuy scheme. Housing for key workers is also now prioritised following the introduction of the Government's Starter Home Initiative in 2001. This scheme is aimed at teachers, police, nurses and health workers.
Of course, if planning laws were radically liberalised, and the free market was allowed to provide housing on a traditional supply-and-demand model (as in most other industries), the need for such bodies would diminish. The trouble with such a liberalisation would be that you would get loads more skyscrapers that would be very unpopular in some quarters. It would also result in concreting over the countryside.
definition source: East Hampshire Council
-MM- The Nature of Monkey was Irrepressible.