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Tackling the Housing Crisis

Posted by Jennifer Jameson on September 5, 2017
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Theresa May is looking at ways to tackle the British housing crisis, she is considering signing a proposal to force local councils to begin building projects.

The Department of Communities and Local Government want to see housebuilding significantly increased, in hopes of slowing down the rapid increase in house prices that are leaving most brits unable to afford to buy homes. The Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, has backed this proposal, particularly for high cost areas.

The white paper entitled ‘Fix Our Broken Housing Market’, published in February said: “Some local authorities can duck potentially difficult decisions, because they are free to come up with their own methodology for calculating ‘objectively assessed need’. So, we are going to consult on a new standard methodology for calculating ‘objectively assessed need’, and encourage councils to plan on this basis.”

Theresa May could take the poor turn out of support from young brits at the general election for the conservative party as an incentive to take action on affordable housing, to win back the trust of young people aged between 18-24. A recent poll by YouGov suggested that only 4% of 18-24-year old’s trust the Conservatives to help with their future prospective to own a home – against 44% for Labour.

Over the past 20 years houses prices have risen almost 4 times faster than wages! According to official figures, in 2016, Brits were paying up to 7.6 times their annual earnings to buy a house in England and Wales, as opposed to 3.6 times annual earnings in 1997.

In a speech last year, the PM said, “if you’re young, you’ll find it harder than ever before to own your own home”. But housing campaigners are worried our conservative government will not be willing to take on these interests. They urged the prime minister to commit to building affordable housing for the young people of Britain – and do so through local councils, who can build housing that meets the needs of the community, unlike developers who often build whatever they like, regardless of whether it’s what the community needs or not.

Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, stated in her speech on the 1st of September: “Yet, increasingly, we now have something more akin to a property-owning oligarchy. Made up of lucky, mainly older, people who – by dint of having scaled the housing ladder – are now the ones who now control the country’s economic purse strings.”

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