Jargon busting!!

There’s a battle on over the language that we use….

The terms “social rent” and “social housing” and ” affordable”are all being stolen, applied to housing that is way more expensive than your current Council rent..

(NHHT, by the way, is the Notting Hill Housing Trust, and they have a website where you will find some of the jargon used here )

Housing-industry and planning documentation is chock full of Orwellian double-speak.

‘Affordable’ is now being applied to homes that are part rent/part buy (for which you need a minimum income to qualify) are included in what is called ‘affordable’.

That’s not what we call ‘affordable’

So.  On their website, in the FAQ section, under the question “Will there be fewer social rented homes once the regeneration is complete?”, NHHT’ makes the slippy slidey answer  “there is no net loss of affordable housing through the regeneration”.  This is not an answer about social rented homes.  Look carefully at the table they provide.  The number  in the column  for social housing is “-778”, i.e. the answer to that ” frequently asked question” is that there will be a net loss – currently estimated at  778 homes.  http://www.aylesburynow.london/contact/faqs

(AND ‘Affordable’ may be ‘defined’ to include a new category of accommodation priced at ‘intermediate rents’.

You have to qualify to pay an intermediate rent with a minimum income..

That’s not what we call ‘affordable’)

Then there is the  Government re- definition of “affordable”.   They are pressurising Social Landlords (Councils and Housing Associations) (Housing Associations are particularly vulnerable to this pressure) to raise their social rents to so called ‘affordable rents’ – defined as approximating up to 80% of Market Rents, with no regard to social tenants’ incomes, and no plans to legislate a cap on what Private Landlords might charge… (This was a new Labour initiative by the way).

That’s not what we call ‘affordable’

‘Target rents’ are another strange category – these are calculated on the market value of the property, local market rents AND tenants’ income – but that market value element in London puts these beyond the means of many…  for example, on L&Q’s Aylesbury development on the South West corner,  2 years after moving the rents are £40 a week more than Council rents

That’s not what we call ‘affordable’

What we call GENUINELY  affordable housing (equivalent to Council housing) will be calculated SOLEY according to how much people earn, what they can IN FACT afford.

Meanwhile Shelter reports that health and safety infringements by private rogue landlords are on the increase..
(Freedom of information responses from 310 local authorities showed complaints against private landlords rose by 27% (6.10.12))



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s