Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Affordable Housing

The above video makes interesting viewing. The introductory piece makes the valid point that housing in London between the wars cost about £18,000 pounds (with adjustments for inflation). The same property is now on sale for over £300,000.

Between the wars the government instigated a building boom that made homes ‘affordable’ for large sections of the UK population. The same type of people that nowadays are living with their parents because they can’t raise a £50,000 deposit.

One solution put forward in the video is restrictive covenants that would prevent people from buying property that they don’t intend to live in. This would stop the speculation in the UK housing sector. The other interesting solution is for government to buy land and to take a more direct, hands-on approach to house building to keep costs low.

The government could also regulate the prices developers could charge for such housing. Finally, in the brief debate that follows the introductory piece one guest makes the important observation that in fact ‘affordable housing’ actually means ‘shared ownership’ for many.

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