For some decades, boots-on-the-ground UK local councils and housing associations have followed orders from national government generals hellbent on creating social housing more efficiently and cheaply by hiring mercenary builders and managers from the private sector.
Years of poor results has helped local councils and housing associations regain some control over something that had been a council responsibility in the past — ensuring that truly affordable housing is available in communities across the country for those who need it.
Now, riding high from a Brexit-dominated election, the UK national government is threatening to once more curtail councils and housing associations from interfering with the mercenaries of the private sector 1.
That unlikely army of saviours blames poor past performance on restrictive and obstructionist regulations. Once unfettered, the workings of the free market will conquer the current housing crisis by beating plowshares into profits. In the process, affordable housing of one stripe or other will flow in great profusion, as certified by no less an authority than first year university ‘economics 101.’
Faced with déja vu all over again, what can councils and housing authorities do to maintain some control over the creation and maintenance of what is ultimately their responsibility?
Ganging up might well be one solution — gangs not only of like-minded social housing entities, but their tenants as well.
It seems the UK housing associations have introduced just such a gang, which has recruited members nationwide. Read more in Scottish Housing News: UK-Wide Innovation Programme Launched To Encourage Housing Collaboration