More affordable homes required to ease housing crisis

There is no doubt that building more affordable homes is necessary if we are to ease the current housing crisis. In some parts of London properties thee are hundreds of flats that are being purchased by foreign investors solely for the capital appreciation that the future market may bring with it.

These flats are not being rented out but instead are being left empty. This according to many government sources is unacceptable particularly when some families in London have nowhere to live.

Homeless families are walking past these properties everyday and want to know why they can’t find somewhere to live. Most would argue that this is market economics and that when you buy a property you can do whatever you wish to with it.

However there is another argument that the high price of accommodation in London does have some negative consequences both economically and socially. This high price of living in London inhibits labour mobility and social mobility which it is claimed makes us poorer and a more unequal society over the long term.

There is also more bad news for mixed communities as the government is relaxing the rules for affordable housing on new developments. This is a new initiative which is hoped will get more housing developments out of the ground. Currently a developer building more than 14 homes has to also include 40% of affordable homes either on that development or pay a much higher fee to the local council via the required section 106 agreement that is issued by the local authority.

Developers will be allowed to build sites without allocating any affordable homes on the site. This is seen as a temporary measure. There is no doubt that building more homes will reduce the prices of the existing homes but the government will have to look at creating partnerships with developers in order to meet its goals.