Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Dear Mr Dromey, making houses more expensive doesn't solve your housing crisis.


The utter lunacy of Labour's emerging housing policies become more apparent with each passing day. We have seen how Labour MPs are backing policies that charge landlords up to £800 per property just for the happy privilege of being allowed to rent those properties. Apparently this deals with the tiny minority of "rogue" landlords. And now we see Jack Dromey, uber-stalinist Labour housing spokesman advocating huge imposts on housing development:

Mr Dromey attacked the government for allowing section 106 agreements, which require developers to include affordable housing in developments, to be waived where schemes are unviable.

Now, dear reader, not the stupidity here. If the scheme is unviable because of the s106 agreement it doesn't really matter how much you shout and scream about fairness or the "residualisation of social housing" those houses won't be built. And we either need the houses - whatever their tenure - or we don't need the houses. If it's the former then we have to adjust the externalities (such as contributions to or provision of "affordable" housing) so as to make the scheme viable.

And while we're on the subject of nonsense here's Mervyn Jones from Yorkshire Housing banging the drum for wealthy housing associations like his to get more government subsidy:

...Mervyn Jones, chief executive of Yorkshire Housing, warned that revenue models that raise rents to increase capacity of associations ‘in the end always cost more to the public purse and of course help us reach our capacity quicker.’

Two quick points: the extra cost is only because three-quarters of Mervyn's tenants are on housing benefit. And the subsidy is the subsidy - it may fall better for the housing association if it is from higher rents but it is not higher.


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