Following tragic loss of life in Greenfell Tower fire, Anna Minton in a hard-hitting op-ed in the Guardian takes a hard-look at Britain’s social housing. Critically, it highlights that residents of the gutted building in west London have been warning for years that a tragedy was inevitable.
- UK is a divided society where home ownership is increasingly hard for young people and more people are looking towards a life in social housing
- Ineffective administration of social housing
As Britain sails towards the economic rocks on Brexit, there is no escape from the housing crisis. For the young without wealthy parents, it’s hard to get on the housing ladder. For others, social housing offers a life in dangerously poor quality homes where acute social problems abound.
Earlier in my career, I was an expert advisor in effective cost management of public sector estates. Sadly, the whole system is a failure through a property’s life cycle, ranging from design, build, maintenance, decommissioning and destruction. Where services are outsourced, there are acute weaknesses in delivering value for money. Allocation of social housing is closely tied to raging debate about the effectiveness of public welfare – we are also reminded that immigration is part of the problem.
Yesterday, Theresa May suspended announcing her political agreement with the DUP out of respect for London latest crisis but many are again questioning the effectiveness of government policy – this time on social housing. Unfortunately, with a weak and wobbly leader in power, we are reminded that it will be firefighting rather vision and strategy that will lead the way. This is yet another vivid reminder why Theresa May has to go and quickly.