Basket My Basket


We were delighted to contribute to a recent article in Inside Housing as they explored ‘What Europe can teach us about social housing’ and why the UK approach is not the only option.

In the article, our Chief Executive David Ireland said: “The places which are really making progress are those which have got a commitment to social housing and are seeing the need to implement interventionist policies which are stopping the worst effects of the market.”

“I can’t really point to anywhere where the opposite approach is proving successful. And yet, in the UK, all political parties seem to remain very focused on deregulating planning and selling off assets.”

“One thousand homes doesn’t seem like very much, but if you have 50 co-operatives around the country, it does become a major contribution. Being able to get lots of flowers to bloom is the bit that we’re not very good at in the UK. We just assume [that] we’ve already got a structure that works and we just keep pushing that.”

Speaking about Zurich, where the local authority has encouraged the development of affordable housing, including co-operatives and cluster blocks where 10 or 12 flats open into communal areas, citizens don’t see renting as a stepping stone to buying. David commented “I think that once they get into that kind of system, there is another form of rented property they can happily move into and so they can stay in a rental, semi-subsidised situation all their lives.”

“The quality of the accommodation is really high. It’s fantastic. But when you look at what it costs people there, even in an expensive city, [the cost is] relatively low. And [the local authority] did this with not loads of subsidy; the real subsidy was the land, which the city provided at the start,” he adds.

For the full story visit Inside Housing What Europe can teach us about social housing.

Latest News

View all

Join the discussion