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Closed Circuit: Trigger happy

Millennials choke on their expensive avocado toast, Lord Gary Porter gets ‘Trigger’ happy on social media, and a local MP’s endorsement is a little dated

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Closed Circuit: Lord Porter gets trigger happy on twitter #ukhousing

Closed Circuit: some advice for Strutt and Parker #ukhousing

Closed Circuit: a council’s housing strategy has an out-of-date endorsement #ukhousing

Millennials everywhere were choking on their avocado toast last week when estate agent Strutt & Parker decided to generate a Twitter storm that would put its name firmly into the public eye. Sorry, we mean publish a unique analysis of why young people can’t afford a home.

It is likely our dear readers will have seen it by now, but it is quite a read. It ignores issues of chronic under-supply, social housing shortages, an out-of-control private rented sector, and spiralling deposits to focus on the issue all other commentators had ignored: sandwiches.

That’s right; if millennials could stop buying daily £10 sandwiches, and also cut out thousands of pounds spent on other things they don’t actually buy, they could be just £30,000 short of buying a house in five years.

Not wanting to be outdone, Closed Circuit has conducted its own research on Strutt & Parker – which operates a residential consultancy as well as an estate agency.

We discovered – among many other things – that it prepares viability assessments for developers, which can see affordable housing requirements reduced. So Closed Circuit suggests that in the spirit of solving the housing crisis, it stops this and instead advises developers to build the affordable housing and make up the lost profits by spending less on sandwiches.

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“Watching series3 of fools and horses. Are you Rodney? or a Del Boy? No mention yet of a bod from HMT, but Im sure Trigger will b in it soon!”

That, readers, was the view of the Local Government Association ahead of this week’s Budget, as expressed on Twitter by its chair, the venerable Lord Gary Porter.

As well as comparing Philip Hammond to everyone’s favourite fictional Peckham street sweeper, Lord Porter explained the housing crisis as, er, like kicking an alcohol addiction.

“Dear HMT, fixing housing crisis is like being a reforming alcoholic, step one is realise you have a problem. Take council houses off the debt book,” he wrote.

Now, Closed Circuit has never been to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, but we’re pretty certain the vagaries of council debt classification do not form part of the 12-step programme.

And while we agree with the sentiment, may we gently suggest Lord Porter leaves the messaging to the media team for now on.


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