I've been poor. As a small child in the aftermath of the war money was very tight. Both of my parents went out to work and we lived in a two up and two down house very close to Rochdale town centre. Thankfully this house was part of a slum clearance scheme...the new house on an estate well out of town had its own upstairs bathroom..
Councils built massive estates all over the country...they were often not pretty but they fulfilled a huge need...no one should underestimate the feeling of joy and relief at getting the key to a new front door.
When the Thatcher government brought in the right to buy scheme it looked like a step forward....of course a home owning population looked like something to aspire to...
I was not then convinced...and now in a country where there is a chronic shortage of homes a new programme of building seems to be an urgent necessity .
The same rhetoric can still be heard on the rosy picture of people able to buy the homes they have rented for many years and here in Cornwall it has worked...lots of people are home owners on what were council estates. ..but the picture nationally is different...
I am not poor now...I live in area of outstanding natural beauty in a place I always wanted to live in...Protestant guilt sets in on a fairly regular basis...I have known the sort of pain that poverty brings, the feeling of helplessness and apathy that you sink into during the worst of life's events.
I have no magic wand to wave over the present housing shortage... I wish I had....I am just very grateful that I escaped the trap...But there is still fellow feeling for those who haven't and I welcome the homes being built here for young families who are unable to buy their own homes... The affordable housing Rental schemes here do seem to be working and I thank God for them! I just have to learn to live with my guilt!