Our housing betrayals - Same inaction, same old crisis

Our shameful housing crisis has been in the headlines for so long now that it would not be surprising if a contemporary version of donor fatigue kicks in. 

Many years ago many of us became so inured to the horrors of televised famine that we just looked away rather than continue to make contributions towards resolving the crisis.

Today, the idea of being without a home, of being family without a home is so far beyond the consciousness of most of us — thankfully — that we can’t process it, that we can’t see ourselves in that horror story so we look away, wondering how this deep social failure can ever be resolved.

In its annual report published yesterday, the housing charity Threshold reported that it received an unprecedented number of calls in 2016.

The charity took more than 71,000 calls — more than double the number it received the previous year.

A third of the calls were from people at risk of losing their home.

The chairperson of the charity, Aideen Hayden, said that “this is indicative of the ... distress experienced by those living in the private rented sector, where there remains an acute shortage of supply”.

No matter how you dress it up, our housing crisis is a family-wrecking symptom of market failure and the refusal of successive governments to impose a property tax on those who hoard building land.

What is it we might have an election about? Emails or something? Shame, shame, shame.

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