Friday, 14 August 2015

Social housing.

When I was a small girl we lived in a slum. It was row of two up and two down houses which had been so neglected by our landlord that they were almost falling apart. The loo was up a long tunnel next to the house and shared by five other families. To say I dreaded the late visit in the dark is definitely an understatement.
My dad came home from the war and couldn't find work. We had no choice but to live there even after he got a job breaking up pig iron in the local foundry.
We lived in hope of a council house.....for us it was a dream, a way out of the mice infected dark cold place we called home! There was a points system in place. We were a long way down it!
When we finally got to the top we were overjoyed! We could move house!
Our council house was on a massive estate thrown up after the war to house as many people as possible in decent conditions. We had a bathroom with a bath and a toilet! This was a luxury and we never kept coal in it!
That we might have done was one of the myths spread by people who should have known better . Those who opposed social housing thought so little of those who were poor that they sneered at our need for a bath.
I've never forgotten this and when Thatcher decreed that people should be able to buy their council houses I feared the outcome we have today.
The picture of a home owning democracy was a good one...it was indeed natural that people would want to buy their homes and improve them...but now we are left with a housing crisis of enormous proportions. New homes need to be built and fast...
I wish we had a government who had a will to do it!

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