Our housing policy must be demolished and rebuilt from the ground up


Politics being what it is, much of housing policy has been reduced to a numbers game. Ministers do not hesitate to refer to government spending and the number of houses “delivered”. Embarrassing questions about value for money for the taxpayer, or whether it goes to the people who need it most, or the potential impacts it can have, are dismissed.

This is the nature of politics.

The nature of reality is somewhat different. In the real world, we know that renting social houses on 25-year leases at 95% of market rent is a waste of money; we know that over 60% of those who received a Purchasing Assistance Grant (HTB) did not need it; and we know that even then the average subsidy of 15pc HTB went straight into the pockets of the developers.


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