Affordable-> Unaffordable. Temporary-> Permanent. UK Plays Name Change Game

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The United Kingdom National charity, Shelter, laments something has moaned about for a long time: Canada’s federal government, like the UK national government, has conspired with builders. They both label housing as ‘affordable’ when it really is what the building industry pretty much always builds — housing that is only affordable to the middle classes or higher.

Now Shelter is pointing out that term ‘temporary’ housing is being similarly devalued. Temporary housing is currently being supplied to a variety of individuals and families who are homeless and need accommodation immediately. Temporary is devalued in a different manner than unaffordable ‘affordable’ housing. People are placed in inadequate housing, their acquiescence bought by explaining it is ‘temporary.’

Alas, nothing better is ever offered. Temporary becomes permanent. How bad are those conditions? Here are two recent articles about making a home in ‘temporary’ housing: This is not a home: in temporary accommodation you have to put on a brave face. . . and Not-so-temporary accommodation

Within the context of the UK, ‘Levelling Up’ is another chameleon-like term which seems to suggest, even if it doesn’t deliver, fresh pork from the barrel for everyone. The House of Lords is debating Levelling Up legislation, which is proposed to even out differences between wealthier and poorer residents.

Shelter is calling on the House of Lords to end dumping vulnerable individuals and families into so-called ‘temporary housing’ and leaving them there. It sees adding to the country’s social housing stock as a way end to permanent temporary housing. Read more here:  Levelling Up with social housing: stop temporary accommodation becoming permanent