Brown misses opportunity on council housing


Gordon Brown said in his budget speech today:


“starting with nine pilots across the country we will build new private homes in council estates.”


Alan Walter, spokesperson from Defend Council Housing, has replied saying:


“Gordon must be joking if he thinks that council tenants are going to give up the little bit of grass around our homes that our children play on. There are plenty of people who have bigger lawns. He should go and requesition them. Apparently there’s plenty of space in a place called Chequers.


And if the government is going to do something about providing more housing then it makes sense to build more council homes which are cheaper to build, manage and maintain than the alternatives.”


Building private homes for sale on council estates is already a major issue in many areas. Landlords trying to take over council estates often propose building private homes for sale on open spaces to make their business case stand up and make the deal more attractive to lenders. This is currently a major issue on the Clapham Park Estate in south London and on estates in Tower Hamlets, east London.


Gordon Brown today missed an opportunity to end the long running battle over investment in council housing. Perhaps this is because he didn’t want to upstage Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott who is widely expected to make an announcement on the ‘fourth option’ once the government’s July deadline for stock options is passed.