One of the biggest current social and economic disasters in the UK is the massive shortage of affordable and social housing. What is not surprising is that this has developed over time, like a malignant cancer, following a decision made by Thatcher and her despicable government in the late 70s. The 'Right to Buy' council housing was made a party policy by Thatcher when arriving at the Tory helm, and laws were changed in 1980 to allow the wholesale off-loading of council properties throughout the UK into the open market. The councils though were not allowed to utilise any capital from this scheme to replace the sold housing until they had cleared debts etc.
Those tenants who were now homeowners were allowed, with moderate restriction, to sell on the properties quickly for profit. What a surprise - social housing stocks dwindled, house prices soared (because now more people were forced to look at buying thereby increasing demand), buying to let increased (because there are always greedy bastards wanting to capitalise on any scenario where demand outstrips supply) and now it is nigh on impossible to get a council property or onto the property ladder.
The current feckless government has made changes to the Right to Buy scheme but fundamentally it continues. What is even more disgusting though, as I've just discovered through watching Cheap Homes for Sale? on BBC1 (repeated from BBC3), is that there are actually c800K properties lying dormant and boarded up throughout the UK - many of these actually belonging to the councils and governmental agencies. What a fucking disgrace.
There are even boarded up ghost towns, like in Liverpool, which appear to be a council contrived situation to gain grants from the Pathfinder scheme to knock down and build new. Why not just simply renovate where necessary and get the families that need them back into homes quickly, rather than them being squashed into squalid bedsits waiting for years whilst the councils fuck about.