Homeless orphans at the Red Cross after World War Two



In the United Kingdom, as with other countries, the cost of establishing a home is moving further away from first time buyers and others on a low income or those just looking for a holiday home.


Financial slavery faces those who have jobs and can pay the extortionate rents that are being charged as landlords milk the system for all they are worth. It may be immoral, but is not illegal at the moment.








The real problem is not the availability of reasonably priced flatpacks, it is the scarcity of land earmarked for affordable housing.


Why is this?


Because councils will not bite the bullet and dictate what land is to be used as per the National Planning Policy Framework guidance. They are frightened that they will upset the landowners, where in most cases the property owners and/or developers are chums or have relations on Parish, District and Borough Councils.








A fraction of Persimmon boss’s £110m bonus could house all homeless of York.


The boss of York-based housebuilder Persimmon is under increasing pressure to donate some of his £110m bonus to charity, as calculations reveal that his pay deal could be used to provide a council house for every homeless family in Yorkshire.

Jeff Fairburn, 53, who joined Persimmon as a trainee when he was 17, will on Sunday receive the first instalment of a £110m share bonus which has been criticised by politicians, charities and corporate governance experts as “obscene”.

The company’s chairman, Nicholas Wrigley, is understood to have suggested Fairburn donate some of the bonus – which has been largely fuelled by the taxpayer-backed help-to-buy scheme – to charity. Wrigley quit the company earlier this month, blaming himself for not doing more to cap the amount Fairburn could collect.

Fairburn, who grew up in York and went to the city’s Fulford comprehensive school, has repeatedly declined to comment about whether he intends to donate any of his bonus to charity. A spokesman for Persimmon said: “That is a private family matter for the individuals.”

The Guardian has calculated, using government figures, that Fairburn’s £110m bonus could be used to build 1,375 council houses.

A donation of £4.6m – just 1/25th of Fairburn’s bonus – could provide a home for all of the 58 homeless families in York. It would cost £60.8m to build a home for all 760 homeless families in Yorkshire and Humber, leaving behind £49m for Fairburn.

Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader who is also from York, said the “scale of this bonus is obscene”, adding that it was an outrage that Fairburn could profit so much from a “government subsidy” in the help-to-buy scheme.

Cable called on Fairburn to do the decent thing at Christmas and give something back to the city that made him and his company. “My home town is York, and the difference his bonus could make for a place like this is huge,” he said.

Rachael Maskell, Labour MP for York Central said: “It is disgraceful that while Britain faces a housing crisis, housebuilding executives can be paid extortionate bonuses after making huge profits off the back of a government subsidy.

“This money simply should be put to better use – like ending homelessness in the firm’s own city of York – rather than further lining the pockets of greedy property developers.”

As well as the £110m that Persimmon is paying out to Fairburn, the company is sharing out a further £400m to 150 other executives and middle managers.

The payouts, made in company shares that can then be cashed in, are linked to the FTSE 100 company’s dividend payments and its stock market performance, which has been significantly boosted by the help-to-buy scheme.

Under help to buy, the Treasury provides a loan worth 20% of the value of a property, although the buyer must provide a 5% deposit. The programme has provided a significant boost to property developers’ sales since George Osborne introduced it.

Persimmon’s share price has more than doubled since the scheme launched in April 2013. About half of Persimmon homes sold last year were to help-to-buy recipients, meaning government money helped finance the sales. The government has provided loans worth £7bn.

Greg Beales of housing charity Shelter, said: “It is hard not to see this as profiteering from a housing crisis which is getting worse, at a time when more than 300,000 people have spent Christmas without a place to call home.

“The £110 million paid to just one individual could be used to build enough affordable homes for every homeless person in the city of York. We need to ask ourselves, can such big bonuses really be justified when so many are struggling with the day-to-day reality of our broken housing market.”

Fairburn, who lives in a £1m house in Durham and is understood to own another property nearby, declined to comment as to how he intends to celebrate receiving the first wave of his bonus payment on New Year’s Eve.

Persimmon, which is named after a racehorse that won the 1896 Derby and St Leger for the Prince of Wales, has been headquartered in York since it was founded in 1972. The company donated £1.1m to charity last year, far below the average FTSE 100 firm donation of £3.8m.

Clare Usher of York youth homelessness charity SASH said a donation of as little as £1m – less than 1% of Fariburn’s bonus – could guarantee the charity has the funds to help homeless teenagers for four years.

“Even if this guy donated just £1m it would cover our funding gap for four years,” Usher said. “We are looking for local businesses to help us survive, and if a local business is doing so well that it can pay out that much money in bonuses it would be nice if they could contribute to help the local community as well.”

Usher said SASH provided help to 300 vulnerable people aged between 16-25 this year. “Our whole work is to try to stop street homelessness,” she said. “We’re trying to stop it before it gets too bad.”

Stefan Stern, director of the High Pay Centre thinktank, said Fairburn’s pay was “a prime example of the unacceptable face of capitalism”.









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