This double issue of the Corporate Watch Magazine is about housing: a story of escalating privatisation and corporate gains at the expense of hard won rights for social housing; a story the intricacies of which are largely unknown. The title has a question mark after ‘crisis’ because, even though it’s a crisis for most people, for housing corporations it’s a time for profit-making, as this Magazine issue will hopefully show.
Corporate Watch has been recently expanding its work on privatisation, covering the NHS, education and other ‘public’ services. This Magazine issue on housing is part of this work, as housing is one of the main areas under attack from the ConDem government, but is also an area that can be confusing to anyone wanting to get to grips with it and take action around. Action is key at a time when the coalition government is trying to implement a new version of Thatcher’s ‘right to buy’ and when its housing strategy, announced on 21st November, Laying the Foundations: A Housing Strategy for England, aims to further benefit corporations at the expense of the right to secure housing. This issue aims to clarify some of the murky institutions that are central to the government’s agenda, such as ALMOs, housing associations and think-tanks, as well as companies that have been profiting from the privatisation of social housing since the late 1970s. We hope the issue will contribute to successful resistance to the current attacks on housing, but we realise that more research is needed on the corporations and related institutions.
Published in 2011.