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The Housing Crisis: There is an Alternative Birkbeck College Duncan Bowie University of Westminster 18 th November 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "The Housing Crisis: There is an Alternative Birkbeck College Duncan Bowie University of Westminster 18 th November 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Housing Crisis: There is an Alternative Birkbeck College Duncan Bowie University of Westminster 18 th November 2011

2 The Coalition Governments Approach Abolish national targets Weaken national planning guidance Weaken nationally determined standards Abolish regional planning (London as exception) Focus on more flexibility for Local Authorities But double devolution shifting power to neighbourhoods

3 The Housing Reforms End of HCA grant for social rent The affordable rent regime Affordability and benefit caps in higher value areas Conversion of existing social rented stock Limiting security of tenure Amending the PPS3 definition of affordable housing Delivering planning targets for social rented housing Changing the focus of s106 agreements ? The impact on policies to promote mixed and balanced communities

4 Alternative Policy : Core Objective To ensure that all households in the UK have access to secure, good quality and affordable housing which is located within a community which is sustainable in social, economic and environmental terms.

5 Sub-objectives To ensure that existing housing is maintained to a good standard and remains affordable to households in occupation. To ensure an adequate supply of housing to meet existing unmet need and projected demand.

6 To ensure that the supply of additional housing is concentrated in those areas where provision will contribute to the achievement of sustainable and balanced communities.

7 To facilitate sustainable neighbourhoods including providing opportunities for resident involvement in decision-making. To reduce housing and land prices in real terms as a long- term aim of public policy.

8 Core principles for an alternative policy The State should not promote one specific tenure over another.

9 While recognising household aspirations, policy should also meet the differing needs of households, and focus support on those households who need assistance to access housing which is secure and of good quality.

10 Government subsidy should be focused on investment for longer term public benefit rather than on the consumption of housing by individual households.

11 Government subsidy should not be used to support capital appreciation by individual households. Any public investment in private provision must be based on equity retention by a public sector body, with a share in value appreciation being used for wider public benefit.

12 As housing is in short supply relative to demand, there is a need to remove the incentives which encourage the under use of existing housing stock, irrespective of whether the housing is in public or private ownership.

13 Localism and Strategic Policy Will localism deliver effective use of land and development capacity ? Will a localist/ neighbourhood led system generate appropriate and sustainable development ? Are local economies the drivers of growth ? Can economic growth be achieved with increasing housing shortage and worsening affordability ? The end of monitoring – will we know what the effect of new policies actually is ? Devolving responsibility without devolving resources Opportunities for some LAs as well as risks ?

14 Defending strategic planning We must defend the positive role of planning but in contributing to spatial justice but also recognise its past failures and current limitations We must reassert the role of the public sector and demonstrate the limitations of the private sector in delivering public benefit We must resisting developer/ neoliberal response which argues that now positive planning removed, negative planning (development control and the 1947 nationalisation of development rights) should also be abolished.

15 What a Labour Mayor must do Use any unspent housing capital budget for 2011- 15 transferred from the HCA for social rented housing at target rents with security of tenure. Stop the transfer of vacant social rented homes into affordable rent homes Reintroduce minimum 50% affordable housing target and introduce 40% social rent target into the London Plan Introduce housing targets and social rent targets for individual boroughs. Promote a programme of privately financed new rented homes which provide secure and good quality homes Negotiate planning agreements for new private developments with public sector taking an equity in the long term value appreciation.

16 Long term objectives Reintroduce Government grant funding for new social rented homes at target rents and with security Switch resources from income support through housing benefit to capital investment in increasing supply of affordable homes. Ensure all local authority housing meets the decent homes standard Introduce further tax exemptions for owner occupiers letting rooms in under-occupied property (subject to regulation of standards and rents) Promote a programme of targeted LA lending to prospective local purchasers, with criteria to ensure sustainable lending, based on LA taking equity stakes in properties

17 What we should oppose replacement of social rented programme by affordable rent at up to 80% market rents reductions in security of tenure in social housing cuts in housing benefit oppose extension of council house sales and any sale of vacant council housing to non tenants.

18 What we should support Direct development by councils on their own land of social housing at target rents with security of tenure. Government direction to publicly owned banks to provide funds for development finance at minimum feasible interest rates. Regulation and rent controls of private rented homes with local authorities taking equity stakes in new privately rented homes which provide good quality secure accommodation at controlled sub market rents. Higher rates of taxation on second homes Government regulation of housing lending to ensure sustainable lending and borrowing and to seek to stabilise houseprices.

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