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Sunday, 1 May 2016

The "housing crisis" is not new. It has been a national scandal for decades.

Revealed: UK ‘is in the throes of a housing crisis’

Revealed: UK ‘is in the throes of a housing crisis’.


Many of us have been shouting from the rooftops for years that this country has a housing crisis. That crisis has become even worse over the past 20 years and now rates as an national outrage which should not be tolerated by any decent society in this 21st Century.
It is a crisis brought about by decades of neglect and indifference by successive governments who have viewed "housing" as a manifesto topic where they can make all sorts of promises and when elected, find all sorts of "reasons" why they are only able to build a fraction of the number of houses and flats actually required.  
Over the past 6 months, house building organisations, economists and housing charities, have identified contributory factors to the growing crisis. The "right to buy" legislation has decreased the stock of rented housing as on average only one new unit has been built to replace six which have been sold. The "Buy to let" schemes have drive up prices but reduced the availability of affordable homes. The various "Help to Buy" and shared ownership schemes have have been little more than government  gambit's created for public consumption to give the impression that the responsible ministers are "doing something" to address the question.

We need 700,000 new homes

The fundamental problem is that this country is not building sufficient houses in the areas where demand is greatest. The reasons for this are manifold, but essentially boil down to economics. For as long as there is a shortage of housing in the private and rented sectors , the resultant demand will ensure that the price levels remain high.
The government and any subsequent government, must commit to building more houses by actively encouraging developers, constructors and local councils  to build homes for both rent and sale in sufficient numbers  to resolve the scandal.