Solving the lack of affordable homes

Posted on 20-03-17 by Aurelio Petrucci Number of votes: 0 | Number of comments: 1

Building apartments and locking their value to the rate of inflation.

The problem faced by prospective buyers in today's housing market is houses are too expensive due to problems with supply and demand.

Supply problems include; investors (from Britain and elsewhere) owning houses without occupants, rapidly increasing house prices, holiday homes, and the lack of housebuilding, particularly of affordable homes, and the lack of council homes for those who need them.

Demand problems include: increased life expectancy, more one person households

My proposal would therefore be to:

1. Build large apartment blocks in high demand areas

These buildings would not be 1960s towers but would be modern structures with high ceilings, bright windows, balconies and large rooms. They would provide a desirable alternative to suburban home ownership through open spaces in their surroundings, perhaps having a pool, a gym, coffee shops or tennis courts. This would also limit urban sprawl.

2. Sell apartments in these apartment blocks for low prices

A high percentage of apartments in the blocks would be sold to cover the cost of construction, and no profit would be made as the work would be done by the government, providing an affordable solution to high costs elsewhere.

3. Retain a proportion of apartments to pay for upkeep and maintenance 

Some apartments would be rented out below the market rate in order to pay for the upkeep of the services provided to inhabitants. A small yearly upkeep fee may need to be paid by apartment owners if rental income was not enough to cover costs.

4. Control resale prices

Apartments sold would not be able to be sold for more than inflation had increased since the time of purchase. This would allow apartments to remain affordable and also help to control house price increases nationally if enough were built. If an apartment on the market in 2025 was bought for £100,000 in 2020, and inflation had been at 1% per year since 2020, then the apartment's maximum price would be £105,000.

5. Stop buy-to-let and absent foreign ownership of apartments, and ownership as second homes

This would mean that apartments were for those who were actually going to live in them, rather than being for landlords wanting to make money or foreign buyers wanting an apartment in London for two weeks of the year. It would also be stipulated that one could not own such apartments as a second home. 

Such a policy would show Labour to be an innovative and original party with positive and modern policies for tackling the demands of the 21st century.

Referring to: Housing, Local Government and Transport

The Housing, Local Government and Transport Policy Commission develops Labour policy concerning local government and devolution, housebuilding and the housing sector, and Britain’s transport infrastructure and services.

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