14:20 PM, 28th August 2019, About 3 years ago 2
I was recently watching a documentary about Albert, Prince Consort, and his magnificent efforts to provide housing for the poor in the 18th Century. I also highlight the magnificent efforts of George Cadbury at Bournville and Joseph Rowntree in the North East of England.
There were, of course, others who made commendable efforts. Since those days the Population has swollen! The issue of Housing can only be tackled by government with a total overview.
Prince Albert, Cadbury and Rowntree were involved with what we now refer to as “New Build” on Virgin Land. There are insufficient buildings in towns to convert to provide sufficient housing.
Converted Office blocks are simply no good for providing family housing. It needs to be a minimum of a two bedroomed house with a garden albeit modern thinking is that it should be a minimum of three bedrooms which increases costs by about 15%.
Of course, organisations like Shelter are all very good at telling us what is wrong but not too good and coming up with suggestions on how to overcome the problem.
Planning is much streamlined these days! Indeed, planning consent is not required to convert Office Blacks in towns. Consequently, we have to accept that as things stand there is going to be insufficient houses for the next 30 years going by present figures of housing demand.
Where does the Private Sector Landlord have an input?
The PSL with an average of just one house looks upon himself as an “investor” not a provider of housing for those in need. That is the role of HMG (devolved via Local Government).
The Investor seeks the best Investment Opportunity and perhaps the Stock Market is not for him. He is interested in the “End Product” rather than the “Interim Product” of rent which services the mortgage. There is no better investment than bricks and mortar.
Well we all know that otherwise they would be looking elsewhere for Investment Opportunities. The “Investment” return is governed by Mortgage Rates which are extremely low at present but also by HMG’s tax regime.
The only answer to the Housing Crisis is to attract more Private Sector investment, but a present HMG is driving it away due to ill thought out taxation measures.
Boris, put your thinking hat on!
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