The Whole Story

  1. Need for Housing Policies
  2. The Costs of Provision
  3.     Investment Advantages
        The Carpetbaggers
  4. A Crucial Misconception
  5. Post-War Policies
  6. The Cost of Subsidies
  7. The Decline of Housing
        Confronting Prejudice
  8. Complementary Housing
  9.     The Equity Spectrum
        Affordable Housing

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  • A5 Bookfold Printout
    'The Whole Story' can be printed on A4 paper in a way that allows it to fold into an A5 sized booklet.
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    Excel spreadsheets used to generate the financial models of housing provision
  • Summary
    The Essentials of UK Housing Policy. Both good and bad.

ABREVIATIONS

PRCS
Private Rented Consumer Service
HO
Home ownership
RIH
Rented Investment Houses
RTB
Right-to-Buy Law

A MISCONCEPTION

APPLES & ORANGES

Heath defined "economic" council rents as equivalent to private sector rents; but that is like comparing apples with oranges. It is like comparing cars with aeroplanes. The provision of houses by investment, for homeownership and or as cost balanced rented stock, are very cheap compared with a PRCS.

Conservative policy, based on this misconception of housing provision has made an expensive PRCS the only alternative to homeownership. The high rents of a PRCS have boosted prices beyond the affordable range of most first time buyers. From a market that was close to self-sufficiency in 1971, we have established a totally inadequate provision of housing with subsidies that devastate the public purse.

THE REFORM OF HOUSING POLICY

The provision of housing is trapped within the rigid constraints of a Private Rented Consumer Service (PRCS). By realising this, we can understand and solve our housing problems.

We can begin to understand why these structures must be replaced with policies of provision that make the homeownership and rented sectors mutually supportive.

The unfolding consequences of the PRCS began in 1971, with the abolition of the cost-balancing principle on which the low-cost rented sector was based. It has nothing to do with the global credit crunch, which merely had the effect of emphasising the size of the hole that we were in already.

WASTED ASSETS

  • Rent subsidies of £24 billion/year in 2010.
  • £75,000 discount given away on the sale of a single house

Any policy designed to relieve the current state of crises will fail until the fundamental distortions of discounted sales and rent-subsidies are removed. They are automatically recidivist and except by windfall to tiny minorities, neither first-time buyers nor the poor, nor we as taxpayers can afford them, The windfalls handed out to create the pretence of Affordable Housing are a cost to everyone else that is quickly dissipated and becomes lost to housing within a generation.

HOUSING POVERTY

The true cause of housing poverty is that the advantages of investment are limited to those on higher incomes - to those who can afford to buy. Trapped by subsidies, tenants are deliberately excluded from the benefits of investment, which could quite easily provide affordable housing to tenants and owners alike.

DECEIT

In the last century, Conservatives pursued a policy to restore the dominance of the PRCS, as it was in the previous century. Really amazing but true! Macmillan wrote the post-WWII design to achieve it and he tutored his cabinet on how to hide it from the electorate.

Affordable Housing is impossible under the High Rent policy. But it is a name attached to windfall schemes that are scattered, on occasion to relieve the gloom. The High Rent policy spends billions per year to prevent and eliminate the low-cost rented option, because it threatens the dominance of the PRCS. The Right-to-buy law is another misnomer. It actually means the right to a huge discount on buying a house from social rented stock.