Tuesday, 14 April 2015


This simple graphic from the BBC shows how housebuilding plummeted after the Tories in the 1980s allowed people to buy their council houses - good - but stopped councils from re-investing the money in new housing to replace the stock which they had sold off - bad.

From this sensible start we have arrived at a housing crisis which it is going to be difficult for anyone to resolve.  It certainly won't be helped at all by selling off yet more housing which forms a key sector of our housing market.

In coalition the Liberal Democrats have helped to increase house building to 150,000 a year but this is still not enough.  We want to set an ambitious target of 300,000 new homes a year, with 10 new garden cities (cities with as much green space as housing) in areas where there is the most need and where there is support from people who need new housing.

We also want to provide ways into home ownership.  We would introduce 'Help to Rent' and 'Rent to Own' schemes to offer both help with deposits for rental and the chance for people to buy their own home using their monthly rent.  It makes a lot more sense than selling off existing rental stock, doesn't it?

The other key policy we have announced is to directly commission house building from government, as is being trialled in Cambridgeshire.  That's the government directly supporting house building for sale to make up for the shortfall in the private housing market.  Sounds a lot like council housing, doesn't it...but we can't say that.

So, sell existing houses or build more?.  You decide.  I hope you vote for helping everyone who wants to to own their own home while ensuring our vital housing associations continue to support people.

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