Suzanne Moore obtained every thing else proper concerning the housing disaster however omitted land (I’m on the housing ladder however I can’t cheer the rising costs, Journal, 22 February). All through the UK, really inexpensive council housing was constructed on public land. The value of borrowing to construct and keep council estates and their communities was recovered over, say, 50 years by low earners paying low rents, which didn’t embrace the ever-increasing worth of land. Councils at the moment are utilizing the excessive worth of public land to finance builders to demolish council estates and construct non-public housing, which council tenants can’t afford. Therefore the 79% enhance in homeless households in England to 86,000, together with 127,000 kids since 2010, some for as much as and over 10 years, 1.1 million households on council ready lists and four,700 single adults sleeping tough every night time.
The New Economics Basis not too long ago reported that the federal government bought sufficient public land for builders to construct 131,000 properties, however solely 2.6% can be for social lease. There may be an pressing want for laws that forbids the sale of public land and requires it for use for inexpensive social housing.
Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Towards Poverty
• Suzanne Moore is true that rising home costs are not any trigger for celebration, however mistaken that “not sufficient homes are being constructed”. With housebuilding virtually solely within the palms of main builders, they are going to be certain to not flood the market to the extent that costs come down.
There isn’t a lack of items, however acute maldistribution and affordability points. Analysis exhibits there isn’t any absolute scarcity of housing; there’s overconsumption by the rich, lots of them non-doms, utilizing our housing inventory as investments and pieds-à-terre.
Even on the top of public housebuilding, inventory was changed at a price of simply 2% per yr. Our properties are the least energy-efficient in Europe, however the weighting of 20% VAT towards the zero score of latest housing is a disincentive to pursuing the “refurbishment first” agenda favoured by the architectural occupation as environmentally accountable.
Classes could be realized from Scotland, the place proper to purchase was scrapped in 2016 and, since 2017, the rights of personal tenants have been protected with an finish to fixed-term leases, which means leases are successfully open-ended, rents can solely be elevated each 12 months and tenants who imagine them to be unfair can refer them to a lease officer. Additionally, underneath Scottish regulation, native authorities are in a position to levy double council tax on properties which can be vacant for greater than six months.
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