4 March 2015: Housing: Key Challenges Facing the Parties - Part of the British Government @ LSE General Election 2015 Event Series
Charles Goodhart, Nancy Holman, Ann Power, Christine Whitehead
Chair: Kate Allen, Financial Times
Housing presents a range of challenges for whichever party wins the next election. Everyone agrees there is a shortage of homes (to rent or to buy) as well as an affordability crisis in many parts of the country, and yet housing completions are at historically low levels. Experts have listed a number of reasons for the lack of new investment including the planning process, the lack of available land, a shortage of finance, restrictions on building on the Green Belt, the influence of overseas buyers, and indeed cutbacks in government grant. Additionally, increasing regulation is making it harder for households who would traditionally have been able to become owner-occupiers to do so. Increasing numbers of families—especially in London—are paying high rents for poor quality and insecure accommodation. Consequently, policies to increase investment and standards in the private rented sector are under discussion, as are ways to improve access to mortgage funding and low cost homeownership. But housing is also a macro-economic issue – housing costs affect competitiveness; over-emphasis on housing investment might limit more productive sectors; and mortgage debt is seen as a source of macro instability. This event examined the key challenges facing the parties as they struggle to create more homes, to give households better choices, and to reduce volatility in the housing market and the economy as a whole.
More information can be found here.
A video recording of the panel can be watched here.