Housing Shortage: Yet Another Classic Tory Con-Job Spin Story


You are going to be told a lot about a scheme to reduce the housing shortage proposed by Tess and the Gang. You’ll hear a lot about 48,000 homes. You will hear a lot about 14 new garden villages. You will hear a lot about 3 new garden towns. You will hear even more about £6M being ‘pumped’ into these areas.

It is just a spit in the ocean. The usual old wind and piss we get all the time from the tories. Let us explain why.

At the end of 2014, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) warned that 240,000 properties needed to be built annually, in order to accommodate the rising demand across the country. Unfortunately, over the last 14 years, over 200,000 homes have been delivered annually in just four periods. So for those four alone there was a shortfall of 200,000 homes!

An additional 48,000 homes is nothing to shout about.

There is then the problem of who can afford to buy these new homes. We know already the tories are pretty clueless when it comes to understanding the value of anything and this is yet another case.

The thing is, Paul Bogle, head of policy and research at the National Federation of Builders hit the nail on the head for why people still won’t be able to afford those houses anyway in this BBC Radio 4 Today programme:

“There are parts of the proposal that will encourage development but that’s only one part of the equation.

“The homes that are being built and will be built will not be affordable, so the idea they are affordable homes is a misnomer.

“We have a supply problem and a lot of the measurements that the government has done has focused on stoking demand. So whether it is Help to Buy for a new buy, first buy, cheaper mortgage rates and Funding for Lending for the banks that allow them to offer cheaper mortgages those will allow people to move into buying homes.

“So if you’re on the housing ladder that’s easy for you but trying to get on [the ladder], it’s going to be more difficult [because of increased demand] and your earnings aren’t increasing at the pace of house price increases.”

As one would expect the whole problem revolves around supply and demand. The problem has always been that demand out strips supply, time and time again. The reason is simple – if there is a shortage then prices go up! Bonanza time for property developers who just happen to be tory supporters, by and large.

While the new garden villages could provide 48,000 homes, many of these are NOT new ones. They have already got planning for them and some are about to see building start on them. It’s the usual re-hash of news as if it’s knew.

What isn’t clear is that there also seems to be no mention of employment. Where will these people all go to work and what will their jobs be? Where are all the services coming from to support them?

There is a lot of talk of £6m being handed out for infrastructure. Across 17 sites? Are they taking the piss? This magical sum is to provide new schools, new healthcare, new roads, and new services and so on for these 17 sites. What a joke!

A total cynic might see this as an attempt to move the ‘relative’ poor out of sight and well away from those with a lot more money. That wouldn’t happen under the tories now though, would it?

The 14 new garden villages will be in:

Long Marston in Stratford-upon-Avon
Oxfordshire Cotswolds
Deenethorpe in Northamptonshire
Culm in Devon
Welborne in Hampshire
West Carclaze in Cornwall
Dunton Hills in Essex
Spitalgate Heath in Lincolnshire
Halsnead in Merseyside
Longcross in Surrey
Bailrigg in Lancaster
Infinity Garden Village in Derbyshire
St Cuthberts in Cumbria
Handforth in Cheshire

The three new garden towns will be in:

Buckinghamshire (Aylesbury area)
Somerset (Taunton area)
Essex-Hertfordshire border (Harlow and Gilston)

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