Following our recent Trends Breakfast and focus on the housing crisis in the UK, Trajectory’s CEO Paul Flatters has written a blog for the Huffington Post outlining why the solutions to the housing crisis are more complex than simply ‘chucking bricks together and hoping for the best.’
Paul’s blog – which is available to read here – comes in a week during which the Prime Minister used his annual conference address to announce a policy of building 200,000 starter homes over the next parliament, aimed at turning Generation Rent into Generation Buy.
In his post Paul writes:
Put simply, chucking bricks together and hoping for the best is no solution, even if 200,000 homes were anywhere near enough to help the millions of wannabe Gen Buy. Instead Generation Rent are kept in rental purgatory not just because there aren’t enough houses being built, but because of who owns the ones that are already here. Buy to let and second homing mean new and existing properties are owned by people looking to get further up the ladder, rather than simply onto the first rung.
While the problems seem huge, there are potential solutions – although these will not always be popular.
Removing stamp duty for those downsizing or incentivising the building of attractive, affordable retirement homes would help… but the solutions are not confined to action from Government; there is also much that private businesses can do. Investment by businesses in parts of the country outside London will help close the North-South gap, resulting in lower demand in the capital. We are also seeing some companies buying housing so that they can offer an attractive package to employees – this could be encouraged by Government.