Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Reader's Letter Of The Day

From today's Evening Standard:

Jenny Thomas [Letters, February 15] claims that London tenants have "unrealistic expectations" and that owning their home home is not "their entitlement".

For most of the 20the century, the UK has a bundle of policies which kept house prices down while squeezing out private landlords. The inevitable result was precisely as intended - a massive increase in the number of owner-occupiers.

And yes, people did see this as "their entitlement" - it is precisely this entitlement that recent governments have snatched away.

Mark Wadsworth, Young People's Party.

I'd mark myself down for using the same word ("precisely") twice, but apart from that, it came out OK.


mombers said...

Owning a home an entitlement? No. A secure home? Yes. Whether this is achieved by reasonable access to owner occupancy for people who contribute to society, a heavily regulated PRS, or lots of at-cost housing provided by the state is the question

Mark Wadsworth said...

M, no, "owning" is not an entitlement. You still have to pay for one. What is an "entitlement" is that houses cost no more than three times income or something, so that everybody has a fair shot of being able to buy one.

I used the word "entitlement" because she did, I could have said "a reasonable expectation that a government which puts the interests of everybody and the whole economy above a narrow clique would do its best to keep housing affordable" but that was a bit long winded.

What does "contribute to society" mean? Sounds a bit authoritarian or even Home-owner-ist. If people can earn an average wage and are prepared to pay for an average house, that is enough.

mombers said...

By contribute to society I mean create value, not just sit and grow fat off the land :-)