EWS-the hidden crisis that damage us all

Imagine you hard worked hard for years and saved to get your first handhold on the property ladder. And then were told-“sorry mate, everything you’ve done is worthless.” Such is the fate of millions caught in the EWS crisis. (External Wall System)

It’s one of those dreadful scrapes where the good intentions of different people have combined to effect bad outcomes for all. We cannot improve on the story by Faye Brown of the Metro*,which you should read. To summarise, changes in cladding regulations in the wake of the Grenfell fire have led a backlog of inspections for literally millions of flats, most of them new builds. The sorts of properties where striving young couples get their first foot on the property ladder, before moving on to a house to start a family. Now they can’t- because the properties are un-mortgageable, and unsellable. Faye’s stories will break the heart of anyone who still has a heart to be broken. Basically, we now have three million prisoners who can’t start a family; who can’t find space for their new family; or who have seen ten years of virtuous saving wiped out..

“But what has this to do with me?” we hear some readers asking. “Here I sit in my comfy semi in Guildford or Welwyn Garden City-why should I give the concern of a certain well known arboreal primate of the infraorder Simiiformes?” (surely “monkeys”?-ed) Well, for a start, small flat buyers underpin the rest of the property market- if they freeze up, so does it. So much for the value of your cosy little chateau, son. We could also wax sorry for the fate of millions of fellow-strivers, but we think there is a deeper problem.

Old hands on the Left will recall sitting round from the 1940s to the 1980s waiting for the Revolution that never came. Somehow, the Workers never did rise up and overthrow the Capitalist system, however many newspapers were sold at them, however many times they were hectored from a loudhailer at the factory gates. Some said that they had been seduced by Murdoch and the Daily Mail. Others that it was all the fault of rampant consumerism. We think there was a very simple reason-the twenty five year mortgage. “Buy a house, keep your nose clean for twenty five years and you get a stake in the system!” A person of property! It’s a rare and beautiful thing for ordinary people down the centuries. It certainly kept the peace. If that conveyor belt to full membership of society is broken, expect the rise of an angry, well-educated generation with no stake in the present order, and everything to gain by its overthrow. Think Russia in 1917.


#ewscrisis #proletariat #precariat #firsttimebuyer #housing #ews1 #mortgage #renters

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