Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Senator Ozouf's Housing Commissioner for Jersey brainwave....


Just a few weeks ago Senator Ozouf was calling for more help for private housing developers.

Now he has called for a “Housing Commissioner with responsibility for ensuring that enough affordable housing is available for Islanders to be established.”

This new interest in “affordable housing” is somewhat contrary to his farm development at St Saviour where the family Green Zone farm has been extended and altered to create 18 dwellings for sale. These include 1, 2, 3 and 4 bed flats and houses at prices from £295,000 to £715,000 and already 14 have been sold.

The 4 currently remaining for sale are 2 beds priced from £485,000 to £525,000 and the total sale price amounts to about £9 millions.

How come the Planners did not demand at least a % of “first time buyers” accommodation or units to let?

Of course, one wonders too why the Senator did not simply turn the whole development over to one of the several Housing Trusts if he feels so strongly about the shortage of “social housing” ….

But of course, the real causes of Jersey’s everlasting “affordable housing shortage” are the 13,000 working adults who do not have housing quals and the fact that they cannot rent or buy proper living accommodation.

Yet they pay very high rents for their often mediocre housing - but what happens to their £40 million plus annual rental payment?

There is no mention of them in Senator Ozouf’s  scheme nor in any plans produced by the Environment  Department  under Deputy Luce or the so called “Housing Department” led by Deputy Pryke.

In fact, Jersey’s “housing” provision is already controlled and managed by a multitude of individuals and organization with very little co-ordination.

ANDIUM HOMES was created as an “Arms Length Management Organisation” (ALMO) - on the UK model - similar to that which has so visibly failed in Kensington & Chelsea with the loss of 71 lives in the Grenfell fire.

Andium was supposed originally to be the great provider of “social housing” and the regulator too but that plan has long been largely abandoned.

Now it operates much like any developer and aims to build new houses for sale and to charge full market rents in the fullness of time. And it has still not spent the entire £250 million loan that Senator Ozouf obtained for them – and wants more!

There are of course several other “Housing Trusts” whose properties to let are included in the “Gateway” scheme but they do not all operate under the same guidelines and the 12 Parish Constables also like to play at providers of housing accommodation too but have opted out of the “Gateway”scheme.

Lodging Houses too make a contribution to the provision of accommodation – mostly in the “non quals” - sector and are vaguely “regulated” by the Chief Minister’s Department.

Indirect regulation of minimal housing standards for rent is to be provided by an “Environment” unit and all private accommodation to let is supposed to be included - but the task of identifying and policing all the accommodation currently occupied seems to be an impossible one.

Not least is the problem that much of the accommodation does not comply with planning or safety requirements and is often let illegally. Shall it be condemned?

The “deposit protection” scheme is an example of a failed attempt at regulation where many units are now offered without a deposit being required by the “landlord.” The scheme proving inflexible and unpopular.

The operation of the Rent Control Tribunal has similarly been allowed to fall into mis-use by the ineffective Housing Department so the suggestion by Senator Ozouf that a “Commissioner” might be appointed to step in with the appropriate powers and staff to remedy the housing neglect of decades is laughable.

Unfortunately, it is the Social Security Department under Deputy Pinel that now sets “fair rents” though the indirect application of the Housing Component of Income Support and the payment of “rent rebates” to public and private landlords for tenants who have low incomes and more than 5 years residence.

How such “fair rents” are actually determined is a mystery.

Quite how Senator Ozouf proposes to create a “Commissioner” with the complex and far-reaching powers to rationalize Jersey’s housing mess has not so far been explained and the office of Housing Minister – already virtually useless – must inevitably be scrapped along with the pseudo housing control powers of other departments.

To add to the complexities of Jersey housing the looming BREXIT restrictions must also be factored into any reform proposals along with the recently announced “Migration/Population” policies which will add all sorts of discriminatory limitations on the access to housing by many.

Finally I would mention that Senator Farnham has expressed his support for an Air B’n B short let system to be permitted in Jersey and it is already evident that private accommodation is already being widely advertised as available to let under this system. A “Commissioner” could hardly ignore this….


  1. Ozouf? Not fit to be on the same blog as Trevor & Shona Pitman. A yesterday man with contempt for ordinary people. Now desperately trying to re-invent himself as he realises his electoral career will be over in just under four short months. Too little. Too late. Good rid Phil. Leave the States credit card when you clear your desk...

  2. Tom's last blog demonstrates why Jersey people are screwed (literally in the case of several hundred of the most vulnerable)

    What gave me some wry amusement was a comment from one of the suspected Paedo-Trolls who asserted: "Why is there so much interest in the Pitmans after all of these years? Time to move on. They are out of politics. Time to get behind people like Ozouf and Farnham"
    (Anonymous January 24, 2018 at 8:48 AM)

    Have Ozouf and Farnham ever taken their fingers out of their bums to fight for the rights of Jersey's hundreds of child abuse victims?
    Have they ever done anything real to stop the same thing happening now or over the future decades?

    -I don't think so. In the wake of the fake CoI or in the run up to an election they leak disingenuous soundbites but the truth is that they are establishment animals to the core.

    Feathering their own nests while Jersey's economy is screwed and happy to stand by while future generations are screwed by the lack of basic and functional rule of law in the island.

    Jersey corruption will flourish while the rule of law is in the hands of the "Kray twins" and their associates.

    The above link takes you to:

    1. Regrettably the "Click HERE" does not seem to work.
      Please cut and paste this link into your browser:

      Alternatively just go to
      and page down to the two comments by
      AnonymousJanuary 23, 2018 at 7:18 AM


    2. Can you explain what a Paedo-Troll is because it reads like you are only using this silly expression to gag opinions.

    3. Anonymous uses the expression - not I. Don't ask me to explain it.
      Ask Anonymous.

    4. I have no idea what the "Click Here" stuff is all about.

    5. 'Tony' @2:37 asks "....because it reads like you are only using this silly expression to gag opinions"
      Au Contraire 'Tony' @2:37, genuine readers welcome other people's opinions.

      Unlike some other posters (perhaps yourself 'Tony') who seemingly astroturf these blogs with their own directives about what should and shouldn't be discussed e.g.
      1] "Why is there so much interest in the Pitmans after all of these years? Time to move on. They are out of politics. Time to get behind people like Ozouf and Farnham"
      2] "We've heard it all before and tbh it is boring. Time they moved on with their lives."
      3] "If Trevor and Shona Pitman are unable to take an Appeal any further then there is nothing more for people to say.

      FFS, who genuinely would come to a blog to endlessly repeat inferences that the subject is not worth discussing -other than someone who is *desperate* that the subject is not discussed and that other people *"move on"*
      PMSL ....... a genuine reader would himself surely have *moved on* instead of imploring other people to do so???

      The precise definition of astroturfing and "Troll" are the subject of much debate but there are certain "Litmus Tests" which give readers information on whether a comment is a genuine considered opinion OR astroturf/trolling.

      If similar comments are endlessly repeated but the commenter is unwilling to defend or explain their comment and opinion, then the comments are highly suspect and opinion is quite likely trolling or "opinion management".

      'Tony' also asks .... "Can you explain what a Paedo-Troll is" ?

      YES TONY I *CAN* ..... and btw, thank you for asking :-)

      As mentioned above, the term "Troll" is already a little imprecise and will be equivalently so with the "Paedo-" prefix.

      I will explain the use of the term Paedo-Troll over several comments because it is important and slightly involved. If there is anything you have difficulty understanding "Tony" -just say and I will explain further.

      At the outset it is important to note that Jersey has more than one Troll, just like it has more than one Paedo, but let's open the can of maggots by pasting someone else's comment from Tom Gruchy's last landmark blog ....:


      I remember that weirdo alcoholic who was posting hate about public figures and women who had rejected him.

      Eventually he made an an abusive phone call threatening the family would be murdrered for being friends with Syvret.

      He lost in court and still bitching about it now even though the not very clever chap knows he was in the wrong.

      People who know they are in the right like Shona and Trevor have in contrast shown huge reserve and dignity.

      It really galls and appalls me that here we have obvious proof about how bent our Royal Court is and those who oversee it and yet our media won't report it pretending it isn't news.


      The above with thanks to AndyJanuary 24, 2018 at 2:07 AM, off

      That sets the scene of where we are in Jersey and the sort of people who Jersey's bent judiciary do their best to protect and enable.

    6. Opinions simply expressing personal obsessions aka hatreds likely should be gagged.

      Stuff like the noodle who just can't admit the obvious that anyone not getting a fair court process must trump any subsequent result, even a possibly justified oone.

      Obviously I do not support the type of gagging another Tony, the rather pompous trout who once banned the Trevor Pitman of your previous post from defending himself against all the troll vitriol he was allowing against Pitman and others of the left-leaning faith.

      Think it was on the old Politics Jersey site where Big Brother Tony was some kind of moderator.

  3. Professor Whitehouse did a report on the housing department before it went to Andium. In her report - of rents received totalling around £33 million she found that the Housing Department was underfunded to maintain such a large property portfolio. How can this be ? Easy the states treasury skimed off £27 million annually leaving the department with £6 million.
    Hold on just a minute, the public are told that Andium needs to borrow £250 million over ten years for a building programme. Thats £25 million a year. To be allowed to borrow the money they are paying the treasury around £30 million in a trumped up charge for borrowing.
    To some it looks like Andium are borrowing to help the treasury. They would need to borrow nothing - not a penny if the states did not demand the lion's share of the rental income.
    Oh what a WEB they weave. Pun intended. Check the states accounts it is all there.

    1. It would be helpful if you write more on this subject. We need informed comments.

    2. Don't forget that Andium pocketed £16.4 million from Social Security in 2016 in the form of Income Support Housing Component, with the other Social Housing landlords receiving a combined £3.3 million on top of that. So the flow of money is 2-way rather than 1-way.

      Twice as much Income Support Housing component was received by social housing landlords than private landlords in 2016 (£19.7 million to £9.5 million) yet Monty Tadier was on the radio last year criticising only PRIVATE landlords for not accepting children in their properties whilst failing to acknowledge the far greater responsibility of social housing landlords in tackling this problem.

      The social housing providers will also increasingly benefit over time from the States decision to allow them to charge the higher 90% of market rent to new tenants and those existing tenants who are moving within the existing stock (which I take to include tenants who have no choice but to downsize after a family member departs or dies, unless others know different). What happened to those tenants at La Collette who had no choice but to move? How many are now paying higher rents as a result? We just don't know.

      Another point - it was originally intended to raise the Housing subsidy given to private sector tenants to 100% of market value but when it eventually came before the States in February 2014, Senator Francis Le Gresley reneged on that promise and instead only offered them 95% of market value, based on the spurious excuse that the funding of £1 million had already been agreed in the MTFP. That was 4 years ago and still no States Member has brought a proposition asking to increase the level of housing support for private tenants to 100% as I believe the Whitehead report intended.

      And what happened to Le Gresley? Just one year after his plans were adopted, removing the fair rent cap for social housing providers and giving them carte blanche to charge whatever rents they liked, he took charge of the Les Vaux Housing Trust, which is now embarking on a substantial refurbishment and development programme to take full advantage of the unlimited funding they can now receive in the form of Income Support Housing component!

    3. Thanks Jerry. Hope your research and knowledge is appreciated.

  4. Ozouf is times past. A dinosaur who doesn't even realise he is extinct. The great irony is that the Pitbulls of your previous post will be the future if they want it bad enough. Justness always wins out in the long run

  5. Dear Sir,
    I am a follower of your excellent work, and therefore have taken time to offer the report you ask for,

    It has been a long time since I read it. The Professor is called Whitehead ( not Whitehouse ) and the contribution raked off then are far less than now. The important point being made is that this still carry’s on with the treasury pocketing around £27 to £32 in today’s money.
    Your readers may have to cut and paste from the report.
    Social housing review 2010 Whitehead.

    2.2 Finance

    funds to the centre to be used for other purposes and increasing expenditure on social housing. In Jersey this translated to a transfer of £21.8m in 2008 and a transfer of £22.4m in 2009. The consequence of this is that the Housing Department is not left with sufficient income to properly resource the services it is providing.

  6. Philip Ozouf speaking to scrutiny 26th July 2012.

    The dual policy of rezoning land ( my words - or agriculture buildings ) with the obligation to provide social housing, which was the first thing to do - we used to rezone land and just allow the developer to provide any sort of accommodation, whether or not it be category A or category B - that did not work, because obviously you will always go to the highest value unit. When we introduced the 45 per cent/55 per cent rule, which I was responsible for, when rezoning with the right to develop or the right to exploit the 55 per cent of new units on a green field came the obligation to provide 45 per cent of the units as social housing. Those were provided - in other words, the land value was a lot less - and that has been a huge success

    And minutes from the same meeting:

    The Minister for Treasury and Resources:

    I mean, I am ambivalent as to whether or not sites that are owned by the Housing Department or the current Housing Department are developed by the Homes Trust or another trust. It has got to be not for profit. It has got to be absolutely not for profit. You cannot just have an entity just pretending to be a social housing landlord.
    Why in this case are Andium profiteering now. Where is Philip Ozouf’s howls of indignation ?

  7. I have deleted a "click here" - "Paedo - troll" posting submitted for this site because it seems to consist of unrelated ramblings about the Pitmans and their battles. I don't know who submitted it and don't much care but suggest you either stick to the subject or find another refuge for your thoughts.

  8. Interesting rumour reached me today reference Senato Ozouf.

    Seems with Crazee Sadee blocking his easy road to be St Saviour Constable Ozouf is seriously considering going for a lowly Deputy seat in his old patch of St Helier 3 & 4. Imagine Lewis and Ozouf in one district!

  9. This very informaive blog seems a lot busier since your commendable decision to publish the Pitmans press release. Just shows the degee of interest in what our disgraceful court did to the lovely couple. Shame but no surprise our ever thinner and more expensive newspaper couldn't get over their king sized shoulder chip to print it. They are giving Mr Ozouf plenty of coverage I see. Wonder why?