Housing: current election promises under fire – how will these Green proposals be received?

Yesterday, the Financial Times recorded that an Ipsos Mori poll found that 15% of people thought it was one of the most important issues facing Britain today, up from just 5% in 2010, at the start of the last government. ComRes also found that 16% of people considered housing affordability to be a crucial issue, the highest level of concern since the last housing bubble in 2007. 80% of the public believe there housing crisis according to Mori.

The FT reported that spending on new social housing was cut from £2.5bn in the last year of the previous Labour government to £651m a year under the coalition.

Peter Roach, chief executive of Bournville Village Trust – a housing treasure trove – has described the extension of the right to buy plan as “unfair and shameful . . .”. He said: “We understand people’s home ownership aspirations, but the concept of giving huge amounts of taxpayers’ money to provide discounts for people already enjoying the comfort of good quality affordable homes whilst at the same time watching waiting lists soar is unfair and shameful.”

The FT reports that Jeremy Blackburn, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: “none of the three main party leaders have shown themselves ready to grapple with the thorny issues that block a solution to our housing crisis”, particularly “a drastic increase in supply across all tenures”.

MEP Keith Taylor has issued a new report on the UK housing crisis which demonstrates that the current system, with its unaffordable prices and rents and a depleted stock of social housing, is directly linked to Margaret Thatcher’s Right to Buy policy, and the failures of successive governments to ensure that those in greatest need are provided for. Its summarised recommendations:

  • Rent control and tenant protection.
  • Investment in social housing as the best way of ensuring an availability of genuinely affordable housing.
  • New taxation frameworks to ensure those who have benefited from the property boom are contributing a fair share and disincentivise speculation and land banking.
  • New powers for local authorities to deal with empty properties, and the decriminalisation of squatting.
  • Structures to support and promote housing co-operatives.
  • Improved standards for construction and maintenance of all homes, to improve quality of life for residents and tackle domestic emissions.

Will the FT’s Kate Allen and Jim Pickard add these proposals to their scrutiny of those made by the three main parties?

Keith Taylor sits on the Environment Committee and the Transport and Tourism Committee within the European Parliament. He also sits on the delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council.

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Posted on April 28, 2015, in Admirable politician, Democracy, Economy, Finance, Government, Housing, Parliamentary failure, Planning and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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