The worst housing crisis since the war

The worst housing crisis since the war

11:25 AM, 2nd September 2019, About 3 years ago 10

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I am sure many people reading this will say not yet another old codger going on about the war. At the end of the war there was a shortage of 2 million houses due to enemy action, but now we are short of 4 million houses!

I moved into a newly built Council Estate in 1952. However, others were less fortunate and were housed in Pre-Fabs until 1960. A Pre-Fab is a Pre-Fabricated House built in sections like a garden shed and bolted together. Hardly ideal, but needs must. With people living in Air-Raid shelters and under canvass any where was a home. We now aspire to higher standards.

After the War the Atlee Government embarked on a Nationwide Building Programme which was continued by the Churchill Government. By 1960 the Pre-Fabs had all but gone.

At the current rate of building houses in Britain it will take something like 20 years to build 4 million homes. We all know what the problem is and what is required is constructive criticism leading to the erection of more houses on a massive scale and where does “Private Money” have a place?

Houses will have to be new build, off plan, and built by volume builders who claim it takes just 13 weeks to build a house albeit I must say in my experience they take far longer.

Is there any end to it? All that can be done is to build houses as quickly as possible, but a big limiting factor is clearly the lack of a workforce. The only way is to import works and then they add to the problem in that they have to be housed and fuel the numbers.

Many young people will have to take a reality check. If they are planning a family the most difficult thing for them is to find a primary school. Infra-structure in this day and age means a supermarket in the estate, also it means Doctor’s Surgeries, but what it does not appear to mean is a pub. There is no longer a requirement for a Pub, nor for a Church it would seem on new build estates. These buildings are conspicuous by their absence.

Fergus Wilson


Paul Essex

18:14 PM, 2nd September 2019, About 3 years ago

A massive new estate in my local town was earmarked to contain a new doctors surgery but with 2 out of 4 surgeries in the town mothballed due to a shortage of GPs this has been quietly dropped. I have no idea what the introduction of two thousand families will have on local services- but hey the local authorities have met their new homes target so bonuses all round.

Michael Barnes

15:28 PM, 3rd September 2019, About 3 years ago

Michael Barnes

15:32 PM, 3rd September 2019, About 3 years ago

"builders who claim it takes just 13 weeks to build a house"

My son had an extension "completed" in May and is still waiting for the floor to dry out so he can use it.

The Forever Tenant

16:21 PM, 3rd September 2019, About 3 years ago

As the report above states, it may not be that there is a deficit of housing stock, but more that it is in the wrong area of the country.

So much of the industry and service of the UK has been focused on the South east. If you want to have a high earning position, then you generally need to work in that area of the country.

If everyone moved to the areas where the housing was plentiful and cheaper, there would not be the job vacancies available to employ them all.

I wonder that instead of going on a house building spree, government could instead incentivize decentralization of the large industries to move their headquarters and operational centres to other areas of the country. This may have the effect of partially assisting the housing issue.

Luke P

16:28 PM, 3rd September 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by The Forever Tenant at 03/09/2019 - 16:21
Private businesses cannot be forced to moved, but there could be a much better balance if Government (who let's not forget operate for the benefit of the whole country) moved spread services/departments...which may encourage some private businesses to move also. As a start and a show of faith toward 'The Northern Powerhouse' Parliament could sit in, say, York whilst Westminster Palace is renovated, but that would mean leaving the 'playground' that is London...

The Forever Tenant

16:40 PM, 3rd September 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 03/09/2019 - 16:28
No-one should be force to do anything, but encourangement could be given in the form of tax breaks. We see that often enough to get the business in the country in the first place.

There does appear to be quite a north/south divide and wonder if this is down to the loss of manufacturing in this country as we slowly moved into a service industry country.

Of course, this could also mean that Brexit could be a boon, as we may need to look to manufacture more in this country as opposed to importation.

Michael Barnes

16:47 PM, 3rd September 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 03/09/2019 - 16:28Yes, they should permanently move government and parliament to the middle of the country, somewhere like Stoke-on-Trent, and build a modern, spacious, fit-for purpose houses of parliament, and not waste money on refurbishing the undersized, unfit, existing buildings.
Parliament could go first; departments to follow later.
Video conferencing facilities mean there is no need for ministers to be near their departments or the Queen.
Then sell off the London properties, which should more than pay for the move (plus reduced pay for civil servants and support staff, because no need for a London weighting).


0:04 AM, 5th September 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Barnes at 03/09/2019 - 16:47Communist ideas, take from those and distribute to other, dilute power.
I think the more softer climate in the SE is more responsible for settlements than political manoeuvring.


1:30 AM, 5th September 2019, About 3 years ago

The Germans enjoy their lovely old prefabs with self-sufficient living and beautifully tended lifestyle gardens of Eden, ie vegetable, fruit , relaxing and, of course, the sun! Akin to owning a Summer/holiday retreat on the coast of Dorset. In the main these inhabitants/week end escapists were determined, educated/technical workers/managers who did well for themselves and their families, may have even worked for Siemens, IAG etc . To rebuild the country, money flowed into Germany like oil from USA etc, we British, the unloved by French, General Charles DeGaulle, struggling to pay the war debt to USA were unloved.
In the meanwhile, my mother was on rations until 1952 struggling to feed a family of 7 (5) children. No genuine thanks given by those who profited and could start afresh here and brought their political criticism and fight over to us here.
The problem lies with issues of entitlement and the belief that others are to blame for weaknesses Our Western society is broken and weak: to understand the difference is to imagine being an immigrant and walking thousands of miles across unknown terrains over months to get here regardless of their final destination, beliefs, suitability and situation.
Ask our own to turn up to work at 8.30am on time and be ready to dedicated themselves or protect this country or prove themselves working until 5.30pm, may be living in shared accommodation for a period, and you would be out of luck. who would you wish to employ? Ask someone who has endured hardship across 1000's of miles unknown terrain and they will ask when requested and how high/long to jump. But all this without our weak, spineless, benefit system. The prevailing lack of ideals and identity are to blame. Mother EU has taken the roles away.
In 1908, my grandfather came to this country and ploughed on and on to be a success, even helped the governmental war efforts WW I and II, - upright, tough, smart and proud (nick-named by the family: 'The Judge!') - he was a true supporter of Queen, Empire and Country - not always the best but helped lay down the edifice of England ongoing. Our society no longer supports self-endeavour, determination and maturity to observe, meet see the world and its peoples - only Bear Grillis does that.

terry sullivan

9:47 AM, 7th September 2019, About 3 years ago

no housing shortage--just uncontrolled immigration--deport all illegals close our borders and problem solved

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