Pick ‘n’ mix housing policy?

Tessa Coombe’s reflection at the end of the party conference season is that once more politicians have failed to grasp the magnitude of the housing problem we face in the UK. She welcomes the enthusiasm of Policy Press authors Hugh Ellis and Kate Henderson and their timely reminder of what is possible with a ‘passionate ambition’ in their book “Rebuilding Britain: Planning for a better future”, as well as looking at the more direct criticism featured in Kate Barker’s latest book “Housing: where’s the plan”. Enjoy…

TessaCoombes

380451857_ce9bad11e3_zAs party conference season draws to a close are we any closer to knowing how to deal with the housing crisis? Housing has certainly featured on the agenda and been the subject of much discussion at many fringe meetings, but have any of the parties come close to a comprehensive policy approach? Sadly, my initial conclusion would be that once more politicians have failed to grasp the magnitude of the problem and have instead come up with a whole load of ‘initiatives’ that play at the edges of the issue rather than provide a strategic, co-ordinated and coherent plan. We continue along the lines of a “pick ‘n’ mix” approach to housing policy, where pet projects and short term ‘solutions’ are promoted for electoral gain – appealing to target groups rather than providing solutions for those most in need.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some decent proposals and some…

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