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A Better Way to House Britain

Little Boxes

British Houses are among the smallest in Europe

House falling apart

In some areas they are of very poor quality.
Wales, for example, was rated as having the worst housing standard in 2004.

Unless you are fortunate enough to have designed and built your own home, acquired an old village property, or something else unique, you probably live in a mass-produced standard design – whenever it was built.

Why is this?

At root it’s a mixture of costs, supply, politics and demand.

  • Because roads, street lighting, sewers, water and other services cost so much, house builders squeezed plot sizes down and densities up so as to be able to price their homes affordably.
  • Because local councils squeezed costs too much, architects designed heartless, poor quality mass housing estates, often with inadequate facilities.
  • Because Profligate Party Politicians ignored the costs of running houses, they were not built to be energy and water efficient, or for low cost maintenance.
  • Because many people wanted to escape such ‘ghetoisation’, house builders built even smaller, cheaper homes that these ‘esacapees’ could afford.
  • Because more and more people wanted to own their own home, our Party Politicians gave council (and other) tenants the ‘right to buy’ – and blocked councils building replacements.
  • Because this worsened rental supply shortages, house builders sought planning permission for more and more ‘little boxes’.
    High rise flats demolition
  • Because people already living where these were designed to go, local residents objected.
  • Because local Party Politicians wanted to remain in power they told planners to refuse permissions.
  • Because the supply of development land progressively got less, land prices went up
  • Because housing land cost so much, builders reduced plot and house sizes further.
  • Because houses started to become unaffordable, they turned to building flats.
  • Because prices had gone up so much people landlords wanted more money to rent them.
  • Because no council houses were being built and rent levels had got so high, Party Politicians instructed planners to require builders to allocate large sections of their developments for ‘affordable housing’ – often requiring that this be sold at below market value.
  • Because house-builders had to recover the money to pay for this ‘affordable housing’ land, they had to charge their buyers more money.
  • Because these buyers were now effectively taxed to cross subsidise social housing tenants, the effective value of their homes was undermined.
  • Because Party Politicians had removed controls on mortgage lending in the mid1970’s, massive amounts of ‘wholesale market’ money were available to fund these price increases.
Then came the crash!

Can We Put It Right?

YES WE CAN

But it will take a few years

suburban backyards

And it will need an ‘a-political’ approach
Plus reconsideration of what Town & Country Planning is really for
As well as land ownership and development policies
With a lot more besides

What Do You Think Would Be A Better Way to House Britain?

Add YOUR comments, thoughts and suggestions to the "A Better Way to House Britain" forum, now

Best route to an energy efficient home

 

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