Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

News Shorts & Other Busyness

Tommorrow's Slums

Squall 8, Autumn 1994, pg. 7.

THE Joseph Rowntree Foundation has revealed that two thirds of Housing Association-built houses are of a poorer standard than they were 30 years ago. One third of new homes recorded in a survey do not have enough room for everyone who lives there to sit down for a meal together.

Since local authorities stopped building, Housing Associations build virtually all rented housing for people on lower incomes. The prospective occupiers of these homes are homeless people who have no choice in what they accept.

In a recent interview, Professor Valerie Khan, one of the authors of the report, said that the Government now has no minimum standard for quality and housing associations have to compete with each other for low costs in building each unit: the cheaper the building the more likely they are to get a grant.

This is clearly an attempt to cut costs rather than meet growing needs, as Ms Khan acknowledged: “The Government would say, well we want as many units as we possibly can, but that’s precisely the sort of argument that was made in the 1960s when we built a lot of things that we’ve now had to pull down.”