Housing a basic need – can we leave the private sector to its own devices?

NEWS FROM THE MANNIN BRANCH CELTIC LEAGUE:

Great debate on the merits or otherwise of life in Cuba at the moment on some Manx main stream and social media so perhaps its best to go back to basics and consider life on out own ‘idyllic Island’ the good old Isle of Man.

It looks as if food poverty is on the increase and no sign that government intend to do anything to alleviate it so its looks as if the only way to ‘keep the wolf from the door’ for those experiencing hardship is for others to give.

Similarly we are well into winter with one cold snap already (fortunately now slightly abated) and it looks as if some folk will have real problems getting through the winter.

Sadly incomes despite all the guff about the economy have stagnated and that with any potential post Brexit increases will exacerbate matter.

‘The elephant in the room’ of course is housing as there are still not enough affordable homes either to buy or for rental.

I exchanged some correspondence with Chris Thomas during the last government when he was a ‘humble’ Departmental member and he outlined what government were doing to address the housing deficiency in terms of numbers of homes available but to be fair to him and DOI there is only so much that can be done annually.

There was a great brouhaha recently about Council house rents and means testing which made me think the one area we always seem to IGNORE is the private sector rental market – I seem to remember a spat in the last administration when Chris Robertshaw wanted to address this area and there was fierce resistance from landlords.

Housing is a basic necessity of society and much as we would wish the State to have infinite resources they do not.

The private sector needs to be properly regulated in terms of the quality and cost of what they are touting on the market. No doubt there are some extremely sound and honest landlords but you can bet your life their will be a few scallywags as well.

Before I hear any more from Keys members about their plans for Council housing I would like to hear some ideas about how the private sector can be properly regulated and if that means rent control all the better.

Food, fuel and housing should they be a lottery for some in a civilised society?

BERNARD MOFFATT
Public Relations Officer Mannin Branch

Issued by: The Mannin branch of the Celtic League.

28/11/16

 

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