STO opposes the privatisation of Housing Associations

In Scotland the neo-liberal Hayek and Freidman creed takes another step with a move to legally formalise private status of housing associations.

“Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the administration’s Programme for Government 2016-17 yesterday (Tuesday, 9 September 2016), which includes a Housing (Amendment) Bill to address a potential reclassification
.” (Inside Housing, 7th Sept 2016)

As reported on the Scottish Government has opted to follow the frequently mocked, ‘transfer route to privatisation’ of public sector housing as warned by housing campaigners a decade and a half ago.

Tenant campaigners fought and won at the European Court for Housing Associations to be viewed as public bodies; though the Housing Associations in England persist in calling themselves ‘private’ while in Scotland they have mostly used the term, ‘voluntary sector’. Gordon Brown did not want Housing Associations to be classed as ‘public’ as they might have been included in the PSBR (public sector borrowing requirement), but he was overruled by the EU Court.

What impact will the privatisation of Housing Associations have on fair rent assessments? There are currently two strands: one for social housing, one for commercial market (which is pro-market competition and warns that it might propose raising rather than lowering rents). How long will it be before a large tranche of housing will be owned by a U.S. ~ Australian holding Co. or a commercial wing of a French, Chinese or German Gov Department?