A Home For Life!

We hear almost daily that there simply aren’t enough houses being built! But why not?

There are many reasons but the most obvious two are land supply and the granting of planning permission.

Why should there be a problem with land supply when factually only around 9% of land in the United Kingdom is built on?

When I say built on, I mean built on in any sort of way. Over 90% of all our land has nothing on it at all. No railways, no roads, no shops, no schools, not even footpaths!

Remarkable isn’t it! All this available land and yet we hear daily that there just isn’t enough land available to build the 300,000 homes we require annually over the next ten years just to meet current requirements.

We urgently need smaller homes for thousands of people who live alone thanks to advanced age, divorce, separation or perhaps just individual choice. We also need larger homes for growing aspirational families.

These homes are needed across the whole sector. Ownership, shared equity, short term rental, and even more crucially, long term rental too! Homes for life in other words.

Creating communities is about building social structures that support and nurture the people living within them.

Crime drops where people know each other. Home ownership and long term rental create the same results in this regard. Both offer people the opportunity to be part of something quite special. A community with a beating heart which is committed to its own long term future.

None of my comments are meant to be political. To me they are just common sense.

How can anyone plan long term when their rental contract terminates in six months. It’s impossible!

Short hold tenancies do have a place in the overall picture because they offer flexibility, but they are not the whole answer. They are only part of a larger landscape if we are to see the country prosper and grow.

The short hold tenancy act is not the problem here it is the lack of long term rental contracts and more importantly the dwellings on which to attach them that creates a shortage of alternative occupation offerings and leaves many people living in unacceptable conditions in one of the world’s major democracies.

We need short holds because a home owner taking a job in another town will not let his or her property if there is no guaranteed prospect of getting it back should they wish to return. This is what created so many problems in the 60s and led to thousands of homes across the country laying empty.

It also led to the creation of an inflexible workforce.

The short hold tenancy act effectively ended this fiasco.

Businesses cannot function without employees. Those employees need somewhere to live and unless they can find somewhere within their budget close by they simply can’t afford to take that job and the company hoping to employ them can’t expand.

This matter isn’t just apparent in London. It is across the whole country.

No expansion equals no growth, and no growth eventually turns into recession and even less growth. The end result of this devastating scenario is depression and devastation for thousands of families and perhaps the UK economy.

The good news is that we do have the land available to build all sorts of homes from studio apartments to grand mansions. It’s thinking outside the box when it comes to allocation of developable land that is the real issue.

I have an idea which can create nearly 4 million homes across the UK over the next ten years without costing the taxpayer a penny but it will require a cross party political will to implement. It will also require a change in planning regulation.

In fact my idea may actually create a cash surplus.

I wonder if the leaders of any of the political parties will take me up on my offer to personally explain it in detail for the good of the country.

Our people deserve somewhere decent to live. Isn’t it about time we came up with a sensible and long term plan on how to deliver a mixture of proper homes for life so that all our people can relax in a home of their own. Rented or owned!

I have written to the housing minister Brandon Lewis MP asking for a meeting ASAP to discuss my idea.

As I say home is where the heart is and without the knowledge that a person or family is able to remain long term, putting heart (and perhaps soul) into decorating and fitting new carpets etc becomes less appealing.

Let’s create a country where all our people are well housed. It can be done, but as I say it requires some “outside the box” initiatives to secure a better home for everyone.

One Comment

  • barry charman- tradcookers ltd

    4th October 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Good for you Steve!
    It ‘s time that people don’t regard ” getting Planning” as a major hurdle – to getting a home.
    there is always the negativity of neighbours -no changes wanted -yes, we need new homes BUT built them somewhere else – NOT IN MY BACK YARD.
    The real problem in UK is that the economy is GEARED to retaining homes as an expensive asset that increases in value. Make houses of insulation perfect materials, wood and ceramics -why not giant “lego brick” type construction- not designed to last “forever” at less than £100K for a 3 bed -and everyone could afford one.BUT that wouldn’t suit the banks who want the public tied on to paying mortgages forever- and the factory owners who want a “tied in” workforce who cannot afford to move away!


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