Thursday, 13 September 2012

So the solution to a dysfunctional housing market is to make it more dysfucntional?


It seems that the housing sector has been captured by people whose grasp of economics and understanding of markets is diminishingly small. The Labour Party - under the direction of that old Stalinist, Jack Dromey, has had an enquiry. And the solution is:

A cross party inquiry led by a Labour peer is today calling for £5 billion of quantitative easing cash to be used to build homes across England, and for a £3 billion increase in funding for social housing.

Other ‘emergency measures’ demanded in the Housing Voice report include making the housing minister a cabinet position, and deferring the merging of housing benefit payments into universal credit.

In the medium and longer term the group wants to see the affordable housing budget raised to £4.75 billion a year, and for a national commission on affordable housing to be set up to report before the 2015 general election.

These people are serious about this you know. They really do want to print £8 billion and give it to housing developers. To build social housing - that's subsidised housing to you and me. Because there's a housing crisis don't you know?

Well yes there is a housing crisis but not the one you're thinking of. The crisis is that the social housing 'sector' isn't able to develop as much as it used to develop because the government isn't bunging in enough subsidy. This enquiry and its 'solutions' seems to be good old-fashioned grant-farming. Give us lots of subsidy and we'll build lots of houses in places where people don't want to live. Meaning that we won't have to answer the big question of how we get more houses in the places where people do want to live and where there's work for those people that mean they can afford those houses.


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