While it is natural to expect some exaggeration on Housing Day and some glass very much three-quarters full and more type stories, the Policy Exchange (PEX) report in Inside Housing today defies any sense of even rational delusion!
“The largest housing associations should be allowed to raise rents in exchange for agreeing to build more homes, an influential think tank has said” is the opening gambit and it goes on to say all HA’s (and presumably not council landlords) with more than 4,000 properties should be allowed to increase rents in line with CPI (as opposed to the 1% imposed cut) and they can then increase their house building output by 3% – 4%.
3 emphases and 3 very short points.
1. The HA CEOs who paid for this report like the report – enough said there!
2. HA development to 100,000 per year? – HA’s record aggregate output was last year at just over 40,000 so increasing this by 3% – 4% somehow becomes 100,000 per year? On which planet were you taught basic arithmetic?!
3. Private Enterprise as government refers to the likes of Barratt, Persimmon and all the traditional house builders can only sensibly average 140,000 units per year – How nice of PEX and Chris Walker to confirm that Corbyn’s policy is the ONLY one to solve the ‘housing crisis!’
Everyone agrees that the UK needs 250,000 new homes per year and so if Private Enterprise will only build 140k (and note this has averaged 110k pa since 2010) then that leaves at least another 110,000 per year to come from social landlords to meet the 250,000 target.
As HA’s love to remind us last year at 40,000 (their figures) was a record year so let’s see that achieve the 4% increase of the PEX report and that increases it to the giddy heights of just under 42,000. This of course leaves a shortfall of 68,000 per year (110k minus 42K) which can only be achieved by? Yep Councils!
Aren’t numbers pesky and even for rabid right wing paid research guff reader!
Seriously, whether you loathe or simply despise Corbyn, he is undoubtedly right that the only way to solve the housing crisis of supply and to reach the 250,000 minimum new homes per year is to allow councils to build again.