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"In the good old days, councils and housing associations built social rented housing – often called council housing. It was a simple idea in which rents were based on a formula that combined local wages and local property values so that, for much of southern England, rents would be set at around 50% of local market rents – even lower in very expensive areas. Social housing rents allowed people to work without being dependent upon housing benefit.
"No more. Now, councils and housing associations have been told to replace social rented housing with a new product called, confusingly, affordable housing.
"In a move worthy of George Orwell's Ministry of Truth, affordable rent will be higher than before, set at up to 80% of the local market rent. Across whole swathes of southern England affordable rented properties will simply not be affordable to people on low incomes."