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Common in much discussion on the housing crisis is the focus on the need for a range of solutions. From building on the green belt, to stopping foreign investors and ‘buy to leave’; from unlocking brownfield land for development and leaving the green belt out of it, to bringing all empty homes back into occupancy.
In the middle of an election campaign, the last thing we expect to find is consensus. Yet in contrast to most other issues, we have found near-universal agreement that the UK is not building enough homes.
Urban places are popular. Think of where the world likes to go on holiday, and it is the great cities that attract millions of visitors. It isn’t only the larger international ones people want to spend time in either.
It is further evidence of the priority now accorded to housing policy by the public and the media that much of the interest in the Conservative Party manifesto, published today, has focused on the proposed extension of the ‘right to buy’ policy to housing association (HA) tenants.
The fact is, we’re still not building enough homes. People across the country are struggling to get on the property ladder, move out of their parents’ homes, or find a rental place they can afford.
There is no questioning that the most pressing issue in domestic politics today is housing. With millions of individuals and families waiting for social housing and many first time buyers priced out the market, it is clear that current housing policy is failing.
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