Friday, 20 June 2014

Bulldoze Belgravia

I've rewritten my "Demolish Morningside" argument as "Bulldoze Belgravia" for the Conversation. The piece got edited down a lot as the Conversation like things to be 800 words long and readable. I'm not that fussed as the general argument got made.

However, one wee argument was lost and that this. In the section about Moving to Opportunity and housing vouchers versus subsidising bricks and mortar I originally made the point that devolution is providing an interesting experiment on this. In 2017 the right-to-buy is going to be ended for all social housing tenants in Scotland, meaning Scotland is very firmly saying we want the subsidy in housing to go into the homes themselves and their low rents, not directly to tenants. England, on the other hand, is sort of going the other way. Despite the benefits cap, it still seems that subsidy will be directed to tenants, especially with affordable rents in England being laughably not affordable to anyone. So essentially, we'll have an interesting natural experiment on our hands to test which system produces better outcomes for tenants, housing markets and the wider economy. 

It's not the only natural experiment like this that's emerging - the other interesting one I was reminded of at an event on Tuesday is the Curriculum For Excellence vs. Govian ideological bullshit in education policy.

That is unless Labour do win the 2015 election and reintroduce rent and rate rebates at as local authority, as seemingly is being suggested. Or we vote yes in September. 

And now I could get onto why policy evaluation and analysis is so difficult....

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