For too long the media have focused on red herrings when it comes to solutions to the housing crisis. Today we still see incessant clamouring for idealistic reforms to things like stamp duty, which would do little to stop the juggernaut that is the UK’s housing crisis.
However, lately we’ve seen some progress.
Yesterday evening saw in depth coverage on Channel 4 News of our research into the loss of affordable homes in Kensington and Chelsea. Significantly, this piece gave substantial time to explaining the use of viability assessments by developers in squeezing out affordable housing. An issue that might once have been deemed too technical, is now headline news – and rightly so.
Similarly, this morning the Financial Times ran an extensive piece on how land reform is one of the real answers to the housing crisis. It looked at how the huge cost of land is making it near impossible to build the homes we need, looking at the broad consensus on land reform between Shelter, the Prince’s Foundation, The Adam Smith Institute, The Centre for Progressive Capitalism and others – including both major political parties, who committed to reform in their general election manifestos.
The housing crisis may not be showing any signs of improving, but the debate on how to solve it certainly is. What we now need is a commitment from government to follow through on their promises and start to fix the broken market.