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Monday, November 07, 2016

Time to address our housing crisis

Today's Guardian reports concerns by the CBI on an issue that I have been warning about for some time, namely that the country is facing a housing crisis based on a failure to supply enough houses in the right sectors to meet demand.

The paper says that business leaders have urged the government to tackle the housing shortage by expanding the rental sector and creating incentives for older homeowners to vacate large properties:

The CBI set out 10 recommendations to get more people into suitable housing ahead of the publication of a white paper by the Department for Communities and Local Government on tackling the housing crisis.

Warning that the status quo is “clearly unsustainable”, the employers’ lobby group called for a “step change” in housebuilding, including the creation of more rental homes, if the government is to meet its ambition of a million new homes by 2020.

“Home ownership will remain an aspiration for many, but is not the only answer. While there is great value in giving those who aspire to buy their own home the opportunity to do so, it is important that government is also encouraging a wide range of new housing tenures to be delivered that will be of benefit for all,” the CBI said.

This is not just a problem in England, as Wales has equal challenges and needs to respond in a similar way. The jury is out as to whether the Welsh Government's target of 20,000 new affordable social homes by 2021 will be sufficient to meet this challenge.
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