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Saturday, 4 April 2015

Another vague promise to scratch the surface of a national scandal.

Labour plan to build 150,000 new homes.

plan to build 150,000 homes by 2020


150,000. No where near enough.
The shortage of housing in this country has been an outrage for decades. Families and young people, face the prospect of years living in overcrowded or inadequate conditions as builders and speculators grow rich on providing a few homes at inflated prices while receiving government (tax payers) cash incentives, for building a small number of "low cost" housing. In the rented sector, social housing is practically non existent and in the private market, rental prices are on an ever increasing spiral. In conditions where people have no alternatives for a home, they have no option but to pay the inflated price.
Political parties have made capital from this situation over many years by dangling to many desperate people, the prospect of "more homes", in exchange for their votes. The historical reality has always been subsequent disappointment but with the promise repeated next time around. Today, it is the Labour Party coming out with its promise to spend in order to build 150,000 homes by 2020 with the emphasis being on "first time buyers". No mention of those who are not and will never be "buyers" of any kind, first time or otherwise.

For far too long, politicians have paid lip service to solving the housing problem without any real commitment to resolving the issue. The provision of a few catchy sound bites and "impressive monetary figures" may deceive a few voters but will do nothing to provide homes.
What this country desperately demands is the provision of a minimum of 300,000 new homes of which 60% will be "social housing" provided by either local councils or housing societies or a mixture of both, and of the remainder the provision of a substantial number of "low cost" homes for those who choose to purchase.
The party to which I once belonged, sounds little different from Conservative or Liberal Democrat when it comes to housing. They will all make the right noises in general with a few minor variations in detail and all leaning towards “buyers”, but in the final analysis will do little to tackle the problem.
Vague “promises” without substance or intent.