Housing need to DP Brandon Lewis

Is there anyone in housing old enough out there to remember when Information Technology was called data processing?  If you do you will know that today you can wear a computer processor more powerful than the ones that put a man on the moon when the term data processing was commonplace.  Yet if you don’t remember the term data processing you will say wow look at this iWatch!

Data processing  – take data, the figures and statistics and numbers which are readily to hand in this digital age and then you PROCESS that data to make meaningful information – the data is thus purposeful and much more purposeful than being able to play Candy Crush on your wrist. Yet ‘Housing’ is full of digital geeks who are so obsessed with the technology itself that they miss the purposeful information and that is a problem.

For example, at a global generic level, social housing is facing mass introspection and dare I say panic over VfM as ministerial buffoons such as Brandon Lewis claim (and note that word claim has no substantiation or data to support) that social housing does not give VfM.

Cue inordinately and unnecessary tracts of counterclaims by housing people, yet look at the simple 4 pieces of data below to explain data processing:

  1. Average social rent is £83 per week.
  2. Average private rent is £163 per week
  3. Subsidy to social housing is £4.5 billion over 4 years
  4. Social housing has 4 million (or so) properties

Four factual pieces of data and verifiable official data with 1, 2 and 4 coming from the DCLG’s English Housing Survey for 2013 and 3 from official government announcements.

Lets process!

  • From 1 and 2 we see social rent is £80 per week cheaper than private rent
  • From 3 and 4 we see average subsidy per social home is £5.41 per property per week
  • From those two simply processes we can say that social rent is, after removing any subsidy, £3,892 per year cheaper, ceteris paribus, than private rent.
  • From 1 and 2 and 4 we see that social landlords charge 4 million lots of £3,892 per year less to its customers than private landlords do – a sum of £15.57 billion per year.
  • From that we can say social housing has £15.57 billion less constraint and cost to the overall British economy thus enabling it to function much more cost effectively

Yes reader, I am deliberately simplifying this so that housing people who wear IT rather than use it to create meaningful information can understand!

Dear Brandon Lewis, shove your unsubstantiated and politically motivate claims where the sun does not shine.

Dear Brandon Lewis if you wish to take away the £1.125 billion per year in subsidy from social housing then you risk an added cost to the economy of £15.57 billion per year – the sum that social housing returns to UK plc in saving for the £1.125 billion per year in investment…..a £13.84 saving for every £1 you invest.

Now what were you saying about value for money in the social housing model minister!?

Of course you can add to the basis argument above with many factual embellishments to hammer the point home that social housing is hugely cost effective.  The average quality of the product itself is better maintained than the average private let and borne out by Decent Homes data, as is the average service level given that social housing tenants have guarantees and legal rights to repair and maintenance rather than seeing retaliatory evictions as happens in the PRS.

An incredibly obvious piece of information is that given social rents are so much lower than social housing, they provide much lower constraints to an employment-seeking tenant than the private rented sector.  Or the private rented sector is far more welfare dependent for its tenants than the social rented sector!

You ever heard a Candy Crush playing housing professional say that reader? Or even a housing professional who wishes to monitor and control an unlicensed drone with a 15-minute maximum battery life from their Apple iWatch while simultaneously playing Candy Crush!!

I will stop there as the digitally fixated housing professional has the attention span of a gnat as this digital age dictates and the medium is more important to them than the message itself.  This information can only be purposeful if the digitally-fixated great and good of social housing actually read anything longer than 140 characters!

It is not a rant against digital per se as the universal panacea we are all told it is; rather digital is the latest negligent deflection away from housing selling and promoting the BENEFITS of the social housing model.  Digital replaces housing plus and involvement in anti social behaviour and housing involvement in education, employment and training (EET) and so many other examples in which housing took its eye off the ball and forgot to promote social housing itself.


2 thoughts on “Housing need to DP Brandon Lewis

  1. But you are using numbers and stuff, things like facts… seriously what were you thinking when the beliefs and sound-bite thinking of IDS et.al. trumps all the above and therefore negates your whole argument.

    “It costs shitloads” v “its saves much more than its costs as these figures prove, its not subsidised but instead pays for itself over the long term….”

    The other argument against social housing and social rents is that if it was all in the private sector the GDP figures could be boosted by 15.5B a year, all to a bunch of buy to letters… also without social rents acting as a fairly weak drag on private rents, the free market would take over and rents could probably be doubled if not trebled if people had no social rent option, so HMG could probably add 30-45B to GDP. The fact that this would mean that most people would have no free cash to buy other things would be a minor inconvenience, who needs food and warmth after all.

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