The U.K. government has over the past few years created loopholes for housing developers normally restricted by numerous by-laws. This extra freedom was created in order to encourage the development of housing on brownfield sites, where remediation (toxic waste cleanup) expenses discourage investor participation.
One result has been the very questionable value of what has been a boom in local councils using slapdash brownfield housing as “emergency” housing for low- and no- income citizens experiencing homelessness. Sure, it’s meant to be temporary, but in more and more situations this inadequate housing is shifting towards a “permanently temporary” solution where no other suitably affordable housing is anywhere in sight.
It seems that free-market developers have ingeniously tapped into council funding dollars for “emergency” housing to offload boatloads of sub-standard product.
Now the country is facing accumulating evidence that for-profit firms that target council management dollars are taking a leaf from the same “what can we get away with?” playbook for services they agree to provide and then don’t.
Is this just the odd rare abuse of the social housing management system? Or could we be looking at an epidemic of housing management mistreating absolutely the most vulnerable of all citizens — low- and no- income folks who, on top of their poverty, need special care.
Birmingham U.K. is a city leaning towards abuse at an epidemic scale. Read more in the Birmingham Mail: Clampdown on bad landlords who fail to support city’s vulnerable tenants
And for a specific example, also reported in the Birmingham Mail, read: Firm housing 450 vulnerable people stripped of special ‘exempt’ status after city council probe